Ballot includes proposals for more than $700M for schools

Most districts are asking for program and operation levies to replace ones that are expiring.

EVERETT — The Feb. 13 special election ballot for Snohomish County has a lot on the line, including proposals for more than $700 million in school construction.

Friday was the deadline for getting in measures for the February election. More than two dozen requests will be decided.

“The election will nearly be countywide,” said Garth Fell, the county’s elections and recording manager.

Most school districts are asking for program and operation levies to replace ones that are expiring. Several also are seeking capital and technology levies. Levies require a simple majority.

Arlington, Everett and Northshore are hoping that voters will approve construction bond measures, which require a 60 percent “yes” vote.

Everett’s bond proposition is for $330.6 million, of which nearly two-thirds, $216.8 million, would be for the construction of a new comprehensive high school to open in 2022 in the district’s fast-growing south end. Proposed on 180th Street, the district recently agreed to use eminent domain to acquire some parcels needed for build-out of the campus.

Another $38 million would go to adding 36 classrooms at eight elementary schools to meet demand created by a state law requiring smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grades. There’s $5 million to acquire property for a future elementary school and $22.8 million to enlarge and modernize the Everett High School cafeteria building.

A key component, from the school board’s standpoint, is the $32.5 million earmarked for adding specialized STEM and vocational programs at Everett, Cascade and Jackson high schools. Under the plan, aerospace and advanced manufacturing courses would be emphasized at Cascade High, medical career pathways at Everett High, and communication and information technology careers at Jackson High.

Voters in Arlington will decide a $107.5 million bond measure. The big ticket item would be a $72 million replacement of Post Middle School, which is four buildings with exterior walkways. The district says the layout poses a security problem.

The bond proposal also addresses projected enrollment growth. Arlington High School, for instance, would add an eight-classroom addition to the C Wing. These days, the campus serves about 1,600 students, but larger classes are in the pipeline.

Northshore’s bond measure seeks $275 million and would build a new elementary school on a district-owned site near Maltby. It also includes room for expansion, including adding classrooms to Skyview Middle and Canyon Creek Elementary schools in south Snohomish County.

Replacement and operation levies are on the ballot in Darrington, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Monroe, Mukilteo, Northshore, Snohomish and Sultan. Districts seeking technology and in some cases capital improvement levies are Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Mukilteo, Northshore, Snohomish, Stanwood-Camano and Sultan.

Voters in Lake Stevens also will decide on a measure to build a new library. The bond measure seeks up to $17 million to build and furnish a new 20,000-square-foot library near 99th Avenue NE and Market Place in an area known as Chapel Hill.

It would be owned and maintained by Sno-Isle Libraries.

In Darrington, the fire district is asking voters to raise the lid on its levy rate, allowing it to collect $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for firefighting and emergency medical care. The district reports increased calls from 380 in 2011 to more than 600 projected in 2017. It also wants to increase volunteer stipends, which are now $10 for most calls and $20 on ambulance transports, which typically take two to four hours.

The rate increase would cost about $8.62 more a month on a $200,000 home, according to district estimates.

Fell, the elections manager, said the county is looking for people interested in participating on committees that would write statements for or against different measures. The deadline is the end of the business day Monday. Anyone interested can email

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446;

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