Thursday, April 14, 2016

Why I have decided to vote "yes" for the school bond

As 33-year Ed Hill residents living on a fixed income, my wife and I had a hard time stomaching the 2014 one billion dollar combined school bond measures -- even if it meant our house would increase in value and our daughter attended K-12.  We were very concerned about our property taxes going up and the district's record of building award-winning posh schools.  Of course our schools were seriously overcrowded in 2014. Today, overcrowding has reached crisis levels.      
When Superintendent Pierce announced the $398 million April 2016 bond measure we could digest it and our concerns about property taxes and expensive schools were answered, as follows:  1) The measure will maintain 2015 tax rates, 2) Seven principles for designing practical, cost effective schools will be implemented.  And yes, the severe overcrowding will be tackled by building three new schools with increased capacity AND rebuilds/enlargements at Juanita HS, Mead, and Kirkland Elementary all for the price of $398 million. 
Eric Campbell -- a Kirkland parent and developer -- described the District's 7 principles for building practical, cost effective schools at a recent Education Hill neighborhood meeting.  Some of the highlights:  1) the district will save money by eliminating or minimizing 1-story designs, 2) aesthetics will be pleasing but not based on Award-winning architectural designs. and 3) buildings will be designed in a more compact manner i.e box/cube.  New schools will be cost-effective and practical while providing teachers and students the space they need to learn and thrive!
If you need motivation this April, the measure calls for a new elementary school in North Redmond that is expected to reduce morning and dismissal traffic congestion on 166th Avenue (since many of the Rockwell students will go to the new school.)  Also, if the proposed Middle School on Redmond Ridge is built, some traffic mitigation is likely on the Avondale corridor. 
Please vote "yes" for the April 2016 Bond measure!

Bob Yoder

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