Edmonds school levy will fund important building upgrades

Last year was extraordinarily challenging, so I’m glad to see students and community return to schools and playfields.

At the start of the pandemic, the bond measure put to voters by the Edmonds School District failed. As part of a community committee that spent two years evaluating school needs, I know those needs haven’t gone away. This month, voters are asked in the April 27 special election to approve a levy for $30 million dollars per year for six years to address the most urgent of those needs: necessary improvements to roofs, gutters and HVAC systems (Cedar Way Elementary has its original 1950s boiler); safety, security and accessibility (most of our elementary schools are more than 50 years old and weren’t designed for today’s educational programs); capacity challenges (our elementary schools are at 107 percent capacity); replace aging buildings.

Spruce Elementary, built in 1961, needs Phase 2 of its rebuild completed. By finishing the first Phase in September 2019, the district saved around $3 million taxpayer dollars by avoiding construction inflation. Oak Heights Elementary, built in 1967, was recommended by the community committee for replacement.

After the February 2020 bond failure, the district went back and identified the most urgent needs, as well as the financial impact on future tax rates, and put together this current, reduced, levy. The district’s website has more information and a place to leave comments or ask questions. As a school board member, a community member, who has seen the condition of our facilities, I urge a yes vote for this no-frills levy.

Ann McMurray

Edmonds school board member

Edmonds

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