Highline Public School Board votes to place bond measure on Nov. 4 ballot

The Highline Public School Board voted this week to place a school construction bond to repair or replace deteriorating schools and ease overcrowding on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot.

If approved, the bond would:

  • Rebuild Highline High School
  • Replace Des Moines Elementary School at the Zenith site (16th Place S. & S. 240th St., Des Moines)
  • Build a new middle school at the Manhattan site (440 S. 186th St., Burien)
  • Build a new middle school at the Glacier site (2450 S. 142nd Street, SeaTac)
  • Make critical renovations at Tyee and Evergreen campuses
  • Provide technology improvements throughout the district
  • Make capital improvements to support arts education throughout the district
  • Address additional critical needs throughout the district

The bond is necessary to meet two significant challenges facing Highline schools:

  1. Growing Enrollment: Projections show more than 2,000 additional students will enter Highline schools over the next 8 to 10 years. The bond would add classrooms, provide space to lower class sizes in grades K through 3, and meet the growing number of students in Highline schools. Without additional classrooms, class sizes will get larger instead of smaller, and the district would likely have to forfeit up to $2.2 million a year in extra state funding targeted for lowering class size.
  2. Deteriorating Buildings: The measure would increase student safety by replacing two buildings that are nearly 100 years old and were not built to current earthquake and fire code. Critical improvements would be made in other aging buildings, especially the Tyee and Evergreen high school campuses.

“As our buildings age, repairs and maintenance are becoming more and more expensive, draining money away from the classroom,” said Chief of Staff and Finance Duggan Harman. “In addition, these older buildings do not have the electrical capacity to support the educational technology our students need to be prepared for the workplace of tomorrow.”

Planning for the bond included community input, a professional analysis of building conditions, updates to enrollment projections, and multiple Board work sessions.

School construction and capital improvements are funded through voter-approved bonds. A bond measure must be approved by a 60 percent margin.

Here is how the cost to homeowners breaks down for the $385 million bond:

Total Bond Measure Cost $385.1 Million
Rate per thousand of Assessed Value $1.12
Average Home Value $201,900.00
Projected Cost Per Year $226.92
Projected Cost Per Month $18.91

For more details about the proposed bond, visit the Building for Tomorrow Today section on the district website.

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