The Franklin Pierce School Board will ask voters to approve a $157 million, 20-year bond measure in November.
The board voted Tuesday to place the measure on the November ballot. The last time Franklin Pierce voters approved a bond was in 1998.
The bond, if approved, would replace five of the Parkland-based district’s eight elementary schools: Central Avenue (which dates from 1927), Collins (1935), James Sales (1953), Harvard (1955) and Brookdale (1957).
The new 20-year bond would cost property owners $2.82 per thousand dollars of property value.
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Two older capital measures — a 20-year, 1998 bond and a five-year capital levy from 2012 — will be paid off by the time tax collection for the new bond would begin in 2018.
The new bond essentially would take the place of those two measures.
While school districts traditionally have run tax measures in special elections, they can appear on the ballot at any time. Last November, Puyallup passed a $292.5 million bond package.
With the presidential race this year, there likely will be a large turnout of voters.
“It’s important to have the most voters in Franklin Pierce have a say,” district spokesman Willie Painter said.
More voters casting ballots could help the measure meet its requirements for voter turnout — which sometimes has been a problem in the district — and help it over the 60 percent hurdle that school bond measures need for approval.
The average age of Franklin Pierce schools is 60 years.
“We also take into consideration that all of the community’s schools built before 1980 were never designed with today’s technology, security concerns, air quality standards and energy efficiency in mind,” Robin Heinrichs, the district’s director of support services, said in a release.
The district looked at state data from 2015 comparing the age of school buildings in Franklin Pierce with four neighboring districts.
While 15 percent of Franklin Pierce schools were built after 1980, the figure was 43 percent in Tacoma, 48 percent in Clover Park, 59 percent in Puyallup and 73 percent in Bethel, according to the Franklin Pierce analysis.
Five new schools would boost Franklin Pierce to the 54 percent mark.
In addition to the five new schools, the bond would pay for:
▪ A performing arts center at Franklin Pierce High School
▪ A new gym at Ford Middle School,
▪ STEM (science, technology engineering and math) labs at the district’s two comprehensive high schools.
▪ Safety and security enhancements districtwide.