Issaquah School Board is unanimous in support for coming bond issue
January 10, 2012
By Tom Corrigan
Probably to no one’s surprise, at its last meeting of 2011 on Dec. 14, the Issaquah School Board unanimously passed a resolution supporting a $219 million capital bond issue that will go before voters in April.
The board voted in October to put the question on the ballot. At that point, board member Chad Magendanz voted against the issue.
Magendanz, elected board president Dec. 14, said despite his earlier vote, the bond issue has his total support. Magendanz said his earlier “no” vote was the result of a procedural issue, that he felt the board should have put off the final vote on floating the bond until a later meeting.
A campaign to promote the bond barely has left the starting blocks. Still, board member Suzanne Weaver said she has received many questions about the proposed rebuilding of Tiger Mountain Community High School.
In the original bond proposal put forth by Superintendent Steve Rasmussen, rebuilding Tiger Mountain High was interconnected with rebuilding Issaquah Middle School and Clark Elementary School. The total cost of the interrelated Tiger Mountain projects was $86 million.
The vision for Tiger Mountain is, Weaver said, to continue to serve the school’s current student population while also making room for new programs. There already are programs the district wished to bolster at Tiger Mountain, but there was simply no room, Rasmussen said. Like Weaver, he promised the core program at Tiger Mountain would continue.
Replacing departing board member Jan Colbrese, board member Anne Moore had been sworn into office just a short time before the vote on a resolution supporting the bond. But Moore noted she served on the bond committee that came up with the original bond proposal. With that in mind, she said she is very familiar with the bond issue and, despite her newness to the board, was very comfortable voting to support the bond.
All in all, if passed by voters, the bond would pay for capital improvements and construction projects around the district and stretching out for the next eight years. Besides major projects such as that proposed for Tiger Mountain, the ballot language mentions improving “districtwide heating/ventilation, space and security; make usability improvements to curricular/ athletic fields and stadiums; and make other improvements.”
Kelly Munn is a co-chair of Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, which will run the bond campaign. The school board initially planned to put the bond issue on a February ballot; VIS asked it to postpone the public vote until April, allowing the committee more time to sell the issue.
Last month, Munn said her committee began to meet weekly in August. More recently, Munn said the group was in a holding pattern until after the holidays.