Marysville voters asked to pass $230M bond for multiple schools

  • By Chris Winters Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2016 8:17pm
  • Local News

MARYSVILLE — Voters in the Marysville School District are being asked to vote on a capital bond measure in the April 26 special election.

The ballots will contain one measure. Proposition 1 will ask voters to approve a $230 million general obligation bond.

The proceeds would fund the replacement of Cascade and Liberty Elementary schools and Marysville Middle School, relocate Totem Middle School, build another middle school in the north end of the district, and renovate and modernize much of Marysville Pilchuck High School.

The ballots are scheduled to be mailed Thursday and must be postmarked by April 26 to be counted.

The bond measure needs the approval of a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

If enacted, property taxes in the district would increase by $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. For an average $280,000 home, that comes to an additional $350 per year.

The district convened a 36-member citizens advisory committee who met over the past year. The committee resolved to keep the projected tax increase at $1.29 at most, said Marysville School Board President Pete Lundberg.

That was a significant number because it was felt it could pay for a number of improvements across the district, while also being similar in scope to the $1.18-per-$1,000 bond approved in 2006, he said.

That also was the last time a bond was approved in the district, although it was only approved by an 8-vote margin. That $118.2 million bond financed the construction of Grove Middle School and Marysville Getchell High School, plus the artificial turf fields at other high schools.

A $78 million bond on the ballot in February 2010 failed with only 52 percent approval, well short of the 60 percent threshold for passage. In May of that year, a smaller version of that measure also failed by a similar margin.

Lundberg said the bond committee met in most of the school buildings in the district over the past year, touring the facilities so the members could see first-hand their condition.

“They could see what a school built for technology looked like and they could see what a school built in 1970 looked like,” Lundberg said.

In some cases the state of disrepair was obvious. One teacher at Liberty Elementary put her foot through the floor one day.

The heating and air-conditioning systems don’t work well in others, requiring students to wear jackets in class. The system at Marysville Middle in particular is completely outdated.

“They haven’t had parts made for over 20 years. They literally have to MacGyver solutions,” Lundberg said.

Liberty, Cascade and Marysville Middle are also old, built in 1951, 1955 and 1960, respectively. Liberty also has the highest level of poverty among the student body in the district, with 84 percent of students on free or reduced lunch programs.

“It’s really a civil rights issue in our district,” Superintendent Becky Berg said. “We have some of our most disadvantaged students attending some of our oldest schools.”

The new middle school would be built on property the district owns at 152nd Street NE and 51st Avenue NE near the soccer complex. It would alleviate crowding at Totem and Marysville middle schools, both of which have about 900 students.

That, plus the other new construction in the district, would allow the schools to eliminate 23 portable classrooms, Berg said.

Christen Dickerson, a bond campaign chairwoman, said people in the district often look to other districts like Lake Stevens and Mukilteo as places to emulate. But that will require investing in the schools.

“It’s about the students having pride in their schools and having a sense of respect for the buildings that they’re in,” Dickerson said.

“I just have a lot of pride in my town and I want them to have the same kind of memories I had growing up,” she said.

Dickerson is a 2003 Marysville Pilchuck High School graduate and her grandfather, Steve Opel, taught at the school for more than 40 years.

The tax effect of the bond, she said, is small compared with that of other districts, such as Issaquah’s $4.14-per-$1,000 bond measure this year.

“It’s certainly a cheaper alternative to sending your child to a private school,” she said. “I can certainly handle $30 or $40 a month. It’s an obligation to me, it’s part of being in a community.”

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

This story has been modified to correct the amount of increase per $1,000 of assessed valuation and the estimated additional cost for a $280,000 home.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

Granite Falls
Man, 35, dies from heart attack while hiking Lake 22

The man suffered a heart attack about 1½ miles into the 6-mile hike east of Granite Falls on Friday, authorities said.

36 hours after final show, Everett radio host Charlye Parker, 80, dies

When Parker got into radio, she was a rarity: a woman in a DJ booth. For the past 12 years, she hosted weekend country music shows at KXA.

Dr. Scott Macfee and Dr. Daniel Goodman outside of the Community Health Center on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett CHC doctors, feeling like ‘commodities,’ speak up on ailing system

At the Community Health Center of Snohomish County, doctors say they feel like “rats getting off a sinking ship.” They want it to get better.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Man charged with shooting at ex-girlfriend, child in Mountlake Terrace

The man, 21, showed up to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and opened fire through the door, new court records say.

People walk along Olympic Avenue past Lifeway Cafe and Olympic Theater that currently hosts Lifeway Church on Friday, July 7, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington churches waged covert ‘battle’ against Pride event, records show

Sermons, emails and interviews reveal how an LGBTQ+ nonprofit became the target of a covert campaign by local evangelical leaders.

Drive-in movies are coming to the north Island. (Port of Everett image)
Where to catch outdoor movies this summer in Snohomish County

Bring a chair, blanket and the kids for a cinema night under the stars with your favorite movies, including “Barbie” and “Trolls.”

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.