By a razor-thin margin, Mukilteo school bond passes

Support for a $240 million measure climbed to 60.4%. Earlier counts showed it below the thresheld.

Posters and flyers await attendees at a community bond information night at Harbour Pointe Middle School in October. (Mukilteo School District)

Posters and flyers await attendees at a community bond information night at Harbour Pointe Middle School in October. (Mukilteo School District)

EVERETT — Mukilteo School District leaders celebrated passage of a $240 million construction bond Thursday.

Oh, but was it close.

Thursday’s tally of ballots pushed support for the measure to 60.4%, a mere four-tenths above the state’s required minimum.

“We are so appreciative of our voters recognizing the need and supporting the capital bond,” said Diane Bradford, communications and public relations manager for the district.

It has been a nail-biter. On Tuesday, approval stood at 59.3%. It climbed to 59.6% on Wednesday.

Assuming the numbers continue to hover above 60%, Bradford said, “we will now roll up our sleeves and begin the work of establishing contracts to start the construction process.”

The bond will pay for additions to Challenger, Horizon and Discovery elementary schools and Mariner High School, as well as additions to and partial replacement of Mukilteo and Serene Lake elementaries and Explorer Middle School.

Mike Simmons, president of the district’s Board of Directors, said he views the result as an indicator of the community’s level of confidence in the district’s direction and leadership.

But with nearly 40% not supporting the bond, he said, “it shows we have to continue to nurture our partnerships in the community” and to “tell our story as projects are completed.”

It won’t be too long before work gets underway.

Some schools may receive new door locks as early as this summer, Bradford said. One of the first larger undertakings could be building upgrades at Fairmount Elementary.

Three other bond proposals on Tuesday’s ballot did not pass.

The Edmonds School District proposed a $600 million bond to build a new middle school and elementary, replace three other schools and construct an alternative learning center. It had 56.3% support following Thursday’s tally.

In Arlington, support for a $71.5 million bond to pay for replacing Post Middle School was 52.6%, well below the threshold required for passage.

In the Snohomish School District, 53.3% of voters were rejecting a $470 million measure to replace and renovate elementary schools, upgrade security equipment on every campus, and minimize the use of portable classrooms.

Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell said as of Thursday, there were about 150 ballots left to tally.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; Twitter: @dospueblos.

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