April 24, 2012
Issaquah School District voters overwhelmingly approved a $219 million bond to fund construction and renovation projects on campuses across the district.
In the April 17 special election, 70 percent of voters — encompassing more than 15,000 yes votes of out more than 22,000 ballots cast — approved the measure. (The measure needed to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a minimum turnout of 12,229 voters.)
Despite the passage of the bond, local homeowners will pay less in property taxes to the schools than they do now because a previous bond issue is set to expire this year.
The retirement of the earlier bond will drop the local tax rate from $4.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $4.05. Passage of the new bond would put the rate at $4.42.
April 17, 2012
UPDATED — 9:55 p.m. April 17, 2011
The results are preliminary, far from final. But the question seems pretty much decided.
According to unofficial results from King County, local residents are voting heavily in favor of allowing the Issaquah School District to sell $219 million in bonds to fund capital improvement projects throughout the district.
Numbers issued by King County at just after 8 p.m. Tuesday show the bond issue is passing easily with 13,476 votes in favor compared to 6,006 votes against, or 69.1 percent to 30.8 percent.
The Issaquah school issue needs to win the approval of a supermajority of 60 percent of those who vote in order to pass. A minimum of 12,229 voters also had to cast their ballots.
Prior to the election, bond backers said based on the number of registered voters expected to cast ballots, the bond issue would need about 14,000 “yes” votes in order to win approval.
April 17, 2012
They only meet once a week during lunch.
Nevertheless, the 10 or so members of Tiger Mountain Community High School’s first and so far only Associated Student Body-endorsed club have made an impact all around the area and as far as South Africa.
April 10, 2012
As of April 9, an estimated 43,000 voters had returned ballots that will help decide six issues on the ballot of the April 17 special election, said Kim Van Ekstrom, chief communications officer for the King County elections department.
The questions include a $219 million capital improvement bond issue put forth by the Issaquah School District. The 43,000 ballots represent all ballots returned in elections throughout the county, not just from the Issaquah School District. The county has not counted ballots for individual election questions, Van Ekstrom said.
April 3, 2012
By now, most of the campaign work is done, said Lesley Austin, one of the two co-chairwomen of Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, the community organization promoting the Issaquah School District’s capital improvement levy on the April 17 ballot.
The VIS group organized so-called honk and waves at 13 locations throughout the district the morning and afternoon of April 2, Austin said. VIS slated a second such event for April 16, the day before ballots in the election are due back to King County.
April 3, 2012
Students and staff members from Liberty, Issaquah, Tiger Mountain Community and Skyline high schools met March 27 at Issaquah High for a social event to highlight students from the four high schools’ learning resource classes, and let them meet new people and have a good time together.
The evening was organized by Associated Student Body seniors Jay Bowlby, Mason Gregory and Susie Tinker, and junior Olivia Fuller, all from Skyline.
Skyline’s leadership class created special VIP invitations to encourage LRC attendance. As students walked through the doors to Issaquah’s commons, they were greeted by friendly ASB members and given their first raffle ticket of the night. Colorful streamers and hanging stars gave the room a festive vibe.
Refreshments included free pizza, popcorn and water. For students who really wanted to quench their thirst — if they successfully landed a ring over a 2-liter bottle of soda in a ring toss — they were able to keep the soda.
March 27, 2012
Controversial bond deserves a yes vote
W e wish the Issaquah School District had been more conservative in its request to fund the long list of items on the April 17 construction bond, but we get why it did so.
With another school bond ending its 20 years of tax collections, this is a good time to get a lot of catch-up work done on our school facilities, while still giving taxpayers a couple hundred dollars’ reduction in property taxes next year (an estimated $215 drop on a $500,000 assessed valuation home.)
Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, the group pushing a yes vote, say this is the biggest campaign it has ever mounted. It’s no wonder. With so many questions and a $219 million price tag, the proposed bond has raised a lot of eyebrows.
There are a lot of questions voters are asking, as we did. Do the middle schools really need artificial-turf fields? Does it really make sense to tear down Clark Elementary School? Does Tiger Mountain Community High School, population 80, really need to be relocated at a cost of $4 million? Isn’t $75,000 for clocks at Beaver Lake Middle School rather excessive? And so on.
March 20, 2012
As voters get closer to deciding whether to OK a $219 million bond issue to benefit the Issaquah School District, big projects such as the rebuilding of the so-called corridor schools are getting plenty of attention.
The corridor schools are Issaquah Middle, Clark Elementary and Tiger Mountain High schools, all which will end up largely rebuilt and in new locations if the bond sale is approved.
Still, a significant portion of the proceeds from the bond sale would go toward more seemingly mundane items, such as rebuilding playfields and replacing fire alarm panels. The proposed project list includes dozens of maintenance and upkeep items at schools around the district.
“We have an obligation to protect roughly $1.2 billion in assets,” Jake Kuper, district chief of finances and operations, said referring to the estimated value of the district’s 28 total buildings, including 24 schools.
March 13, 2012
Of the total $219 million bond package proposed by the Issaquah School District, four projects account for roughly half of those dollars.
If district voters approve the issue in a special election April 17, plans call for rebuilding the district’s three oldest schools, Clark and Sunny Hills elementary schools, along with Issaquah Middle School. Total cost: $109.1 million.
Intertwined with the plans to rebuild Clark and IMS is the plan to rebuild Tiger Mountain Community High School on part of what is now the IMS campus. Cost of that project is estimated at $3.9 million.
The overall plan
The buildings involved are old and largely past their useful life spans.
A bond feasibility and development committee developed the original capital improvement program during planning sessions held roughly a year ago. One long debate was whether to propose rebuilding the oldest schools or to push for dollars to repair and maintain those buildings.
March 13, 2012
About a dozen people showed up in the gym of Issaquah Middle School the evening of March 8 for a presentation regarding the possible future of at least three Issaquah School District facilities.
The topic was the possible relocation and reconstruction of IMS, Tiger Mountain Community High School and Clark Elementary School.
For the most part, those in attendance were in favor of the plans, though they had questions.
Janet Wright and Robert Clement live just behind IMS. Both said windows in their condominiums are about 20 feet from the property line separating their homes from the school property.