Arlington School Board to consider third try for school bond

The option that gained the most traction was a trimmed down $96 million measure.

By Douglas Buell

Arlington Times

ARLINGTON – An Arlington Public Schools construction bond measure that failed in the general election last month could return for a third try with voters in February, scaled down and with a smaller price tag.

The bond issue failed in the November election with 52 percent of 14,654 votes cast – well below the 60 percent supermajority required by state law. Voter turnout was a whopping 69 percent.

“It didn’t reach the supermajority, but we still had the majority of voters and made ground in gaining more ‘yes’ voters,” said Brian Lewis, executive director of operations.

It was a tough road for school bonds across the state, with most showing results similar to Arlington. With all ballots counted, five bonds passed out of 13.

Among five capital project levies on the ballot, four of them passed with over 50 percent “yes” votes.

School Board members were presented Monday with recommendations from the facilities advisory committee.

The option that gained the most traction was a trimmed-down $96 million measure, $11.5 million less than the previous bond, which would still qualify the district for $11.4 million in state matching funds, leaving $4.6 million in projects that would go unfunded.

The measure would move ahead with replacing Post Middle School, a new wing and technology and arts workshop at Arlington High School, security cameras, door locks and environmental control improvements, flooring at Eagle Creek and Kent Prairie elementaries, boiler replacement and other work. Lewis said the main projects that would not be included are the security lobbies at every building, audio improvements in the classrooms, field drainage and improvements at the bus station.

State matching funds would not be used for a fifth elementary school, Lewis said.

Taxpayers who now pay $1.37 per $1,000 in assessed property value toward Arlington school bonds would seen an increase to $1.42 starting in 2020 and stay at that level until 2040. For a $350,000 home, the amount translates to $497 a year, $17 more than the current year.

A second option the committee brought forward was a $75.5 million bond issue to proceed with Post Middle School replacement only.

Lewis said the district would look for other ways and funding sources to complete other projects over time.

If the district wants to put the bond on the Feb. 12 ballot, Dec. 10 is the last meeting date to adopt a resolution. Other options further out include a special election on April 23 and general election next November, Lewis said. Feb. 11, 2020 would be the first opportunity to renew the district’s levy for educational programs and operations.

This story originally appeared in The Arlington Times, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Security footage depicting an armed robbery at Buds Garage in Everett on Tuesday, Jan.18, 2022. (Contributed photo)
Everett pot shop robbed twice; others targeted in recent months

Armed robbers have hit Buds Garage off Everett Avenue twice since December.

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw
Snohomish County judge accused of ‘needlessly’ exposing staff to COVID

Adam Cornell argues the incident reinforces a need to suspend jury trials, as omicron wreaks havoc.

A SWAT team responds during an 8-hour standoff between police and a man brandishing a knife at a home in south Edmonds on Sunday night. (Edmonds Police Department)
Edmonds man barricaded in house arrested after 8-hour standoff

Police said he was brandishing a knife and threatening “homicidal violence” on his family.

Connie L. Bigelow at her store Miniatures & More in Edmonds on Tuesday. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Woman who lit her own Edmonds doll store on fire gets house arrest

Connie Bigelow, 54, was sentenced Friday in federal court for lighting her business on fire to collect insurance money.

The Washington National Guard arrived Friday at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to help with a surge of COVID-19 cases at the hospital. (Providence) 20220121
State offers free home tests; National Guard arrives in Everett

Supply is limited at a new online portal, but Washingtonians can now order five free rapid COVID tests.

A rendering of the Compass Health Broadway Campus Redevelopment looks southwest at the building. The facility is planned for 82,000 square feet with a behavioral health clinic with a 16-bed inpatient center and a 16-bed crisis triage center. (Ankrom Moisan Architects)
Demolition eyed in spring for Compass Health Broadway campus

The Everett-based behavioral health care provider wants to replace the 1920-built Bailey Center with a modern facility.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Lake Stevens proposes cutting ties with Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle’s director called the move a “drastic and unnecessary action to privatize our shared public library.”

A car drives by flowers placed at a memorial for two pedestrians killed at the corner of 204th Street NE and Highway 9 on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$500K bail for driver accused of killing 2 Arlington pedestrians

Elliott Bagley, 28, told an officer he’d had a couple beers before the crash Thursday, according to police.

A car drives by Everett Station where Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin's proposal for its ARPA funds includes funding a child care center at station. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) 20211118
Billionaire Bezos wants to bring free preschool to Everett

The Amazon founder’s program would be housed at Everett Station. Admission would be determined by lottery.

Most Read