Gateway

Peninsula School District to seek $198 million bond for new schools, upgrades

Camille Schuette takes her “science a la cart” lesson to her next classroom at Minter Creek Elementary School on April 12, 2018.  Lack of space at the school forces her to work from a cart instead of a classroom. A $220 million bond measure that would have helped Minter with upgrades failed in April.
Camille Schuette takes her “science a la cart” lesson to her next classroom at Minter Creek Elementary School on April 12, 2018. Lack of space at the school forces her to work from a cart instead of a classroom. A $220 million bond measure that would have helped Minter with upgrades failed in April. phaley@thenewstribune.com

The Peninsula School Board unanimously voted Thursday to push forward with a $198 million bond measure that would provide money to build two new elementary schools and modernize two others in the fast-growing district.

As it stands now, district voters will be asked to approve the measure in February.

“To delay puts us in a very difficult position,” said interim Superintendent Art Jarvis.

District voters rejected a $220 million bond in April.

Board member Deborah Krishnadasan supported the latest proposal, saying overcrowding in schools is a dire issue that needs to be addressed right now. Crowded classrooms have escalated to the point where the district needs two new elementary schools rather than just one, Krishnadasan said.

If passed, proceeds from the bond measure would be used to build new schools on the Harbor Hills North site and the Bujacich site and modernize Evergreen and Artondale elementary schools. The work would provide 77 permanent classrooms to house elementary students, raising the district total from 148 to 225, according to Jarvis.

Property owners would pay 79 cents per $1,000 in value to fund the measure.

Some people have suggested the district instead seek a $50 million levy to make some immediate upgrades.

Krishnadasan said an advantage of a bond measure is it spreads out the cost for a longer period of time, so people who move into the district later are helping to pay.

“We should not pay the bill for people moving here for the future,” she said.

The last bond passed for the Peninsula School District was in 2003. The last new school built was in 1992.

The board must submit their official proposal by Dec. 15 to ensure it will be on the February ballot. The proposal would require 60 percent approval to pass.

  Comments