Voters in the Dieringer School District were showing strong support for a $9.5 million bond measure in early returns from a special election Tuesday.
But results were less positive in the Orting School District, which sought a $41 million bond package to add a new elementary school to the growing district, among other improvements.
School bond elections must clear several hurdles to pass. First, they must be validated based on the number of total voters. A turnout equal to 40 percent of the ballots cast in a given district during the past November general election is required to validate a school bond election.
In addition to validating, bond measures need a passage rate of 60 percent or more.
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Pierce County Elections officials released additional ballot counts Wednesday that showed Dieringer’s bond measure still ahead by a large majority. The Orting measure inched forward and collected enough votes to validate, but was still falling short of the needed 60-percent approval rate.
More vote counts will be released Friday. Election results are posted on the Pierce County elections website.
Dieringer is a community that cares so much about their kids. This is actually humbling.
Superintendent Judy Neumeier-Martinson
Dieringer Superintendent Judy Neumeier-Martinson was pleased with the strong response from voters in her district.
“It’s just been phenomenal,” she said. “Dieringer is a community that cares so much about their kids. This is actually humbling.”
Most of the money in the Dieringer bond package — $6.2 million — would cover its share of construction already approved by voters in the Sumner School District.
Dieringer, a small district with just under 1,500 students, lacks a high school. Students can attend high school in any public district, and most attend high school in the neighboring Sumner district. That makes Dieringer responsible for paying for part of Sumner’s high school projects, where voters last year approved a bond measure that includes improvements at two high schools.
The remainder of the Dieringer bond proceeds would pay for an addition at Lake Tapps Elementary School, as well as improvements at Dieringer Heights Elementary and North Tapps Middle School.
Most of Orting’s bond package — about $36 million — was dedicated to construction of an elementary school on property the district owns next to Ptarmigan Ridge Intermediate School. The district also planned a cafeteria addition at Ptarmigan Ridge as well as safety and security measures at all Orting schools.