February 2016 special election
Vashon Island School District No. 402
Proposition No. 1
General Obligation Bonds - $26,900,000
The Board of Directors of Vashon Island School District No. 402 adopted Resolution No. 730 concerning this proposition for bonds. This proposition authorizes the District to construct a new gym and a new track and field at the High School, improve the Middle, Elementary and High Schools, construct a new service facility and make other capital improvements included in Phase II of the Capital Facilities Master Plan, issue $26,900,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within a maximum of 21 years, and levy excess property taxes annually to repay the bonds, as detailed in Resolution No. 730. Should this proposition be:
If approved by voters, passage of Proposition No. 1 would authorize the Vashon Island School District No. 402, King County, Washington to levy excess property taxes sufficient to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $26,900,000, maturing within 21 years of the date of issue, for the purpose of making improvements to school facilities to provide the students of the District with adequate, proper and safe educational facilities.
Such improvements include constructing a new gym and a new track and field at the High School, improve the Middle, Elementary and High Schools, construct a new service facility and make other capital improvements included in Phase II of the Capital Facilities Master Plan. The project includes necessary equipment, supplies, appurtenances, and services to complete the project.
Voter approval of the bonds includes approval of property tax levies for those bonds. Exemptions from taxes may be available to homeowners who are 61 or older, or disabled, and who meet certain income requirements. For more information, call the King County Department of Assessments at 206.296.3920.
Being physically active is essential for everyone’s health. Active children learn better, but there is not enough gym space for PE classes at the three schools. Adding a gym will provide space for classes and for school and community athletic groups that fill the gyms until 9 pm.
The existing track is fifty years old and in poor condition. Other schools will not come to Vashon for track meets. A new track will benefit many community members who walk there for exercise.
The grass field also is worn out. Replacing it with artificial turf (not made from tires) will allow year round use and require much less water.
There are critical needs at all three schools, including a new roof, HVAC system, flooring, windows and sidewalks. The bond will address the most urgent problems. No other funding source is adequate.
District employees deserve healthy work spaces. A new multi-use facility would replace four unsafe structures and consolidate the maintenance workshop, bus barn, technology staff and district storage.
These problems have accumulated over decades. The cost to fix them will only increase. Our entire community will benefit from having safe places to learn, work, and exercise. Let’s do it!
On Vashon, we all value education. Currently our local school property taxes include 2 levies (maintenance and operation & capital and technology) and 1 bond (new high school) for a cost of $1,915 on a $500,000 home each year. This additional bond will cost an additional $260, an increase of 14% for schools. Over the last 8 years our local school taxes have doubled. Currently 30% of our property taxes go to the schools.
The bond includes a new track and field with synthetic turf, so we could host 2-3 home meets yearly. Synthetic turf has to be replaced every 12-15 years for a cost of $1 million. Where is this money coming from? We will be paying 5 years for a turf no long in use. Should 4,600 Vashon households pay $26.9 million for this?
More than 22% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, almost the same percentage of households using the Food Bank. Affordable housing no longer exists on Vashon. Will this bond tip us to becoming a gated community?
Is this the best avenue for our educational dollars? Thank you for voting no. Let’s help all of our students, not just a few.
Letting our school facilities fall apart will not help low income people. Seniors walk the track. Low income youth play sports for free. Athletics saves lives by involving youth in healthy activities.
When Vashon’s tax rate is compared to other districts with similar property values, ours is well below the median and will remain so with this bond. If we wait, rising interest rates will only make it more expensive to fix our schools.
Statements sent in by: Laura Wishik, Jim Hauser, and Forrest Miller,firstname.lastname@example.org
Our school district offers few PE classes. That is not changing with an extra gym which costs $16 million. Would we be asked for this without the 247 off-island students, (26% of the McMurray and high school students) who pay nothing for facilities?
A school board member found multipurpose buildings that cost less than half this proposed $3.6 million, but the rest of the board would not look at this.
This bond is not reasonable.
Statements sent in by: Leslee (Lee) Kopines and Marlene Joan Thomas,email@example.com
60% yes vote with a minimum turnout of 1,790 voters (Washington Constitution article VII, section 2(b))