Peninsula school bond coming up short of 60%
STEVE MAYNARD; staff writer
A $78 million bond measure for the Peninsula School District was falling shy of the required 60 percent supermajority Tuesday night.
“We’re disappointed with the preliminary tabulation,” Superintendent Terry Bouck said. “We realize it’s a tough economy. We went into it knowing that.”
The measure would pay for renovation and maintenance projects throughout the 9,000-student district. It would focus on taking care of schools already open but in need of repairs and modernization.
The bond also includes money to purchase property for a future elementary school.
In the past two decades, Peninsula voters have passed only one school bond measure – for $45 million in 2003.
Pierce County Elections Manager Mike Rooney said Tuesday night that the 3-point margin separating the bond from reaching the supermajority was “quite a bit” of ground to make up. But Rooney said he wouldn’t want to guess whether the measure might ultimately pass with more votes to be counted today.
Bouck wasn’t giving up.
“We want to make sure every one of the votes is counted to see what happens,” he said.
The measure would add an estimated 27 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to taxes levied by the Peninsula School District.
District officials estimate that the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an additional $54 a year if the measure were to pass; the owner of a $500,000 home would pay an added $135 a year.
Total 2010 tax assessments from the district, including both bond and operating levy rates, are $2.15 per $1,000.
Peninsula officials say their tax rates per $1,000 are already the lowest among the 15 school districts in Pierce County. That’s because property values in the community are relatively high.
Projects the capital bond would fund include:
• Renovations at Artondale Elementary.
• Improvements at Gig Harbor and Peninsula high schools.
• New multipurpose facilities at Evergreen, Minter, Discovery and Voyager elementary schools.
• Infrastructure, equipment and security system improvements at all schools.
Staff writer Kris Sherman contributed to this report.