Mukilteo measures may fund schools

MUKILTEO — Voters in the Mukilteo School District will decide Feb. 19 on a pair of school measures that would add new classrooms and remodel old ones.

One proposal is a $139.2 million bond measure that would build a new $28 million elementary school near Lake Stickney, spend $41 million to renovate Mukilteo and Discovery elementary schools and set aside $12.5 million to buy land for future schools.

The measure would also allocate $11 million to build classrooms that would replace portables at ACES, the district’s alternate high school in south Everett, provide $11.5 million to improve classrooms across the district and spend $15.4 million for fixing athletic facilities and fields at middle schools and at Kamiak and Mariner high schools, including Goddard Stadium. It would also upgrade technology.

“The schools are one of the biggest assets in our community,” said Tania Halladay, a co-chairperson for the pro-bond and levy campaign. “We need to take care of them.”

The other proposal would renew a six-year capital projects levy.

The levy would provide $11.2 million over six years that would be used for projects such as replacing roofs and paving paths for wheelchairs on playgrounds. Money would also be used to improve classroom technology.

Under a new state law passed by voters in November, the capital projects levy will need a majority of 50 percent plus one vote to pass. It used to require 60 percent.

There has been no organized group opposing either measure.

Halladay said the measures offer a wide variety of improvements across the entire district.

Meeting projected enrollment growth and repairing aging buildings are the two main reasons the district is putting the bond measure on the ballot. Other costs would be for health and safety improvements, such as upgrading security systems and updating fire alarm systems, and improving learning space from gyms and music rooms to renovating the Little Theater at Mariner High School.

Enrollment in the district rose by nearly 1,000 students over the past 10 years and is expected to increase by more than that over the next decade. There are now 14,147 students but that could increase to nearly 16,000 by 2017, according to enrollment projections from a district consultant.

Nowhere is the growth as intense as the Lake Stickney area. Odyssey Elementary School opened with 563 students four years ago. Enrollment last month reached 768 and that number could eclipse 800 by next fall.

“Odyssey has nearly the enrollment of some of our middle schools,” said Andy Muntz, a district spokesman.

That pace of growth could make the area near Lake Stickney the fastest growing area in Snoh­omish County, according to a recent Herald computer analysis. Forecasters predict it will be the second- fastest-growing area in the four-county Puget Sound region.

The 20-year bond measure would cost 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed value in the first year. That’s $90 a year on a $300,000 home.

Bond measures provide authority for school districts to borrow money to pay for building new schools, upgrading existing schools and buying land. They require a 60 percent supermajority of voters to pass.

The six-year capital project levy would replace a similar levy voters approved in 2002. It would cost the same 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed value now being paid, which is $24 a year on a $300,000 home.

Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446 or e-mail

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