Arlington schools infused with $2.6 million for renovations

ARLINGTON — Some much-needed renovations to local schools can now get under way with a fresh influx of cash.

Arlington Public Schools recently received $2.6 million in state forest funds. The money will be used for a number of projects in the school district, including replacing the leaky gym roof and installing a new gym floor at Haller Middle School.

While the main building of Haller Middle was built in 2006, the gym was part of the original campus for Arlington High School, built in 1979.

Other projects the money will go to include refurbishing the leaky roof of Post Middle School and replacing the gutters at Eagle Creek Elementary School to reduce the amount of water flowing onto the playground.

The money comes from a state fund set up to distribute some of the proceeds from taxes on timber sales. The law allows the funds to support school districts or other jurisdictions that have debt service payments at the time.

Arlington Public Schools still is making payments on a $54 million bond issue that was passed in 2000, said Deb Borgens, the district’s finance director.

That bond, which will be paid off in 2020, funded the building or remodeling of four schools in the district.

The $2.6 million had already been collected, Borgens said, and it was simply a matter of the school board moving the funds into the district’s general fund.

“It is no cost to our taxpayers,” Borgens said.

The school board in February also approved a project to replace the John C. Larson Stadium field at Arlington High School with artificial turf.

The field, the only Wesco North 4A facility in the district, becomes dangerously muddy and of limited use in rainy weather, district spokeswoman Andrea Conley said.

This month the district applied for a $200,000 NFL Foundation Grassroots Grant to help cover the cost of a new field.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com.

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