School bond, levy receive easy passage

  • Eric Berto<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:26am

Like many of the children who attend it, Cedar Wood Elementary School is growing up almost too quickly.

Its enrollment shot up by approximately 120 students this year from last year’s 543, which was already more than the school’s capacity.

But thanks to district voters approving a $198.5 million bond package, the stress on the school will be alleviated.

Voters passed the bond with 63.87 percent yes votes. An accompanying replacement maintenance and operations levy, which accounts for approximately 20 percent of the district’s operating budget, has received 68.28 percent yes votes. Both required a 60 percent supermajority in order to pass. The results were not final, however, as certification was expected Feb. 16, after The Enterprise’s deadline.

“We’re very excited that the voters have the confidence in Everett Public Schools,” Cedar Wood Principal Jill Tokumoto said.

The bond package included $25 million to construct a new elementary school adjacent to Gateway Middle School in the Silver Firs neighborhood. Most of the students who will attend the new school would come from Cedar Wood.

Tokumoto said that prior to this school year, the district installed four portables and shifted the entire third grade into them. The school has since had two additional portables added.

“It’s been a stretch for us, but we’re doing what we need to do,” Tokumoto said. “We’re not really feeling it because we’ve been able to make those adjustments.”

Also in the bond package is another $17 million to purchase land for another elementary school, as well as a new middle school somewhere in the Mill Creek area.

District officials have said that the district estimates nearly 700 new elementary school-aged children to move into the area in the next two years.

Construction on the new elementary school, which would be the district’s 17th, will begin in the near future and the district expects the school to be open by the fall of 2007.

The bulk of the bond money, $126.3 million, will go toward modernization and construction projects throughout the district. This includes a new gym floor at Woodside Elementary and new windows at Jackson High School.

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