Thursday, January 14, 2016

LW School District meets with Redmond Council on portables, traffic issues and bond uses

Last Tuesday the City Council scheduled a joint Study Session with LWSD to discuss overcrowding in our schools and how to fund for new schools. 

In the meeting, Superintendent Traci Pierce reported that the $398,000,000 April 26, 2016 Bond measure will fund:  1) a remodel or replacement and enlargement (RR) of Juanita HS, 2) a RR of Kirkland El, 3) a RR of Mead El, 4) a new middle school on Redmond Ridge, 5) a new elementary school in north Redmond on 172nd, 6) refurbishment of the Old Redmond School House for preschool space, 7) a modular replacement of Explorer school. 8) Rockwell El will not be remodeled or replaced on any Bond. Pierce said the Capital Funds Levy would cover maintenance.  The "ask" includes $21K from potential State construction funding and $10K from impact fees.

According to Assist Sup.Janine Forgard, the bonding schedule is intended to reduce and eliminate portables.  Councilmember (CM) John Stilin asked Traci Pierce "Do you own the portables and how are you going to re-purpose them? Could we relocate them in a park to be used as community centers?  Could they be retrofitted as housing? Could an organization like Hopelink pick it up?"  Pierce answered "We didn't really talk about this" but that the District does own the portables and "green portables" could be relocated if needed, though it's expensive.  She said they would "get rid" of the old portables. School Director Siri Bliesner mentioned one green portable is at Redmond MS and four are at Redmond El.  They are presently building a permanent six classroom wing at Redmond El and CM David Carson wanted to know what they were going to do with the green portables there.  The answer was vague.

Traffic:  CM Stilin asked for a study on how many hundred trips could be moved off of 166th once the new "Pope" elementary school on 172nd in north Redmond is built.  He thought the voters would be very interested in this.  School Director Bliesner said "the middle school on Redmond Ridge would help reduce traffic on the Avondale corridor".

Pierce said the proposed 2018 Bond ($288M) would fund:  1) an addition to Lake Washington HS, 2) a new elementary school in the Lake Washington Learning Community, 3) a remodel or replacement (RR) at Kamiakin MS, 4) Eastlake/Redmond Learning community Choice School, 5) a RR at Alcott El, 6) land, 7) Special Ed learning spaces.

The proposed 2022 Bond ($278M) would fund: 1) a Lake Washington Community Learning Center (LWCL) Choice school, 2) a new LWCL Elementary school, 3)  a new Redmond Learning Center elementary school, 4) a RR of Evergreen Middle School, 5) a preschool on the westside, 6) Special Ed learning space, 7) land.

The proposed 2026 Bond ($207M) would fund:  1) a Finn Hill middle school addition, 2) a RR at Smith Elementary school, 3) Special Ed learning space, 4) land.

Superintendent Pierce emphasized the present 2015 tax rates will not increase during the 2016-2026 bond funding period.

Bob Yoder

Note:  I updated an earlier opinion post on the District's bond schedule.  The proposed Bond in 2018 is $288M,  The total 2016-2026 Bond amount is $1171M.  Capital Project Levys are planned for 2018, 2022, and 2026.  

No comments: