Should Lynnwood High School land be leased?

  • Eric Stevick<br>For the Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:57am

LYNNWOOD – The Edmonds School District wants to hear from its residents about whether it should lease or sell land it owns across the street from Alderwood mall to cut the cost of a future bond proposal.

At the top of the list for public discussion is the 41-acre Lynnwood High School site, which could be leased for retail, residential or hotel development.

District leaders in 2004 studied potential property leases and sales as a way to help build new Lynnwood and Scriber Lake alternative high school campuses.

The district will host a series of public meetings from March through May to hear what its constituents recommend.

“We are asking for our community’s best thinking in order to further shape our work and move forward with a recommendation to the school board later this year,” said Nick Brossoit, the district’s superintendent.

A bond proposal could be placed on the ballot early in 2006.

A consultant’s study released in November found that a combination of property lease, sale and a bond would be needed to build the schools. It suggested the district consider selling or leasing several parcels, which would raise about $35 million.

Kathy Chambers, president of the Lynnwood High School PTSA, applauds the idea of leasing the campus. The parcel would likely be attractive to private investors, she said.

Chambers’ own children will be long graduated from Lynnwood High School before a new school opens, but she believes the district’s approach is innovative and could help the entire area.

“The community of Lynnwood High School wants to see a new Lynnwood High School built,” she said.

“If we are able to lower the dollar amount by leasing out the property, that is a big benefit.”

The district owns 40 acres on which it could build a new high school east of I-5 about one mile from the existing campus.

Madison Davis, 17, a Lynnwood senior, says she would not get to attend the new school but believes most of her classmates would agree the time is right to build a new school. The feeling is particularly strong when they compare their campus to the district’s other three large high schools, she said.

“Even though they don’t get to go there, it’s kind of like, ‘It’s our turn,’” she said.

Two previous attempts to pass bonds for the Lynnwood and Scriber Lake high schools failed. Both received more than a 50 percent “yes” vote, but needed a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

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