The Puyallup School District will not rerun a bond measure this spring.
The elected board of Pierce County’s second-largest school district met in a special session Friday and took no action, forgoing the chance to advance a bond package to the next available election April 23.
A $279.6 million bond failed on last month’s ballot despite winning 55.5 percent of the vote. A 60 percent supermajority is required for school bonds.
Now comes the work of determining how to bridge that gap in voter support or devise a different game plan for the district and its more than 20,000 students.
“The majority of us felt it wasn’t prudent to pursue the bond in April,” said Board President Chris Ihrig. “We felt like the voters spoke, and we want to spend the next several months getting into conversations with the community and really find out which parts they were supporting and which parts were creating some angst.”
The next possible election date is in August, but Ihrig said he’s concerned about going back to voters during summer vacation season. That leaves the crowded general election ballot in November or waiting until next February, when the district is already set to ask voters to re-authorize the operating levy.
February would also mark an even 10 years since the last time Puyallup voters approved a school bond, Ihrig noted.
“At some point, we will be running something,” he said.
The Feb. 12 bond proposal sought to add capacity at three high schools, build a new elementary school in the growing southwest part of the district, and replace or expand three other elementary schools.
The district estimated the package would have cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $148 more per year.
The final results, which were officially certified this week, showed 14,679 voters favored the bond while 11,774 opposed it.
Meanwhile, Tacoma’s $500 million bond measure won easy passage with nearly 70 percent of the vote — 27,935 yes ballots compared to 11,570 no ballots, according to the certified results.Matt Misterek: 253-597-8472 matt.misterek@ thenewstribune.com