The Mercer Island School Board unanimously approved a $98.8 million bond Thursday evening. The bond is scheduled for a February 11 election by Mercer Island voters.
“This bond will provide three solutions to help manage overcrowding in our classrooms at each level,” said Board President Janet Frohnmayer. “The focus and scale of these projects addresses current student needs as well as concerns from people we spoke with at our numerous community outreach events and discussions.”
If successful, the bond would authorize funding for:
· building a new elementary school at the North Mercer campus
· expanding Islander Middle School with 14 new classrooms and lab spaces, commons and cafeteria, gymnasium, music rooms, and administrative space
· building 10 additional classrooms at Mercer Island High School, including 4 science labs and 6 general education classrooms
The value of the bond is actually $102.6 million, but the state of Washington will provide $3.8 million in matching funds under the Credit Enhancement Act, meaning the obligation to Mercer Island residents goes down to $98.8 million.
The Mercer Island School District currently has more than 4,120 full-time equivalent students in the district’s three elementary schools, middle school, high school and alternative program. That is about 30 more than were budgeted for. The district currently uses 34 portable classrooms to help accommodate the current number of students.