In 2nd try, Everett school-bond measure in doubt again

EVERETT — Voters in the Everett School District got a second chance in two months to decide a $259 million bond issue to establish a new high school, renovate buildings and make other improvements. But results Tuesday night showed that passage could be in question.

With 16,013 ballots counted — well more than the minimum 11,546 required — the bond had been approved by 57.3 percent of voters. But that’s short of the 60 percent yes vote required for passage.

Mailed-in ballots will continue to be counted this week, and results could change.

Pam LeSesne, Everett School Board president, said it’s too early to call the election.

“We’ll be watching the results over the next few days,” she said. “I’m encouraged by the strong support we have.”

Nearly 72,000 ballots were sent to voters, who rejected the measure on Feb. 11. The School Board put the same measure on the ballot Tuesday.

Projects to be funded included $89 million for a new high school; $37 million for a new elementary school; $41 million for renovation and construction at North Middle School; $22 million to upgrade Woodside Elementary School; $21 million for technology upgrades throughout the school district; $16.8 million for 40 additional elementary classrooms; $13 million for renovation of Cascade High School’s science building; $4.5 million for eight extra elementary classrooms and $2.3 million for synthetic turf at Jackson and Cascade high schools.

Of the 18,328 people who voted in the February election, 58.13 percent voted to approve the bond issue — 1.87 percentage points short of the required supermajority.

Lakewood

Meanwhile, voters in the Lakewood School District got a second chance to consider a $66.8 million bond that would pay for Lakewood High School’s renovation. That issue seemed too close to call Tuesday night, with 59.15 percent approving it. It, too, needs 60 percent approval to pass.

The funds raised by the bond would pay for a number of projects at Lakewood High School, including major improvements to the school’s security and access, its heating, electrical and plumbing systems, and more classroom, lab and studio space to handle the anticipated future growth in the district.

The bond also would allow the district to improve parking and traffic patterns around the school.

The issue failed by just 32 votes in February.

Index

In Index, voters approved replacement of the school district’s maintenance-and-operation levy, 81-22. It will cost property owners $2.74 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

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