Opinion

Vote NO for school bond | Island Forum

I urge you to VOTE NO on this school bond proposal for the following reasons.

• Not a logical, timely solution to school overcrowding.

The current proposal does not solve the over-capacity problem for seven to eight years; therefore, on that basis alone, this bond proposal is not even close to being a solution. The time it will take to tear down and rebuild four schools will unnecessarily perpetuate overcrowding rather than do anything to reduce it. Just building one more elementary school and expanding or rebuilding the middle school would solve the problem in less time and for far less money. The other three elementary schools would no longer be overpopulated and could be remodeled for far less cost or rebuilt as needed. Other options exist and need to be explored, including that of building substantial additions for each school if this fourth school option proves to be unattainable.

• Not the whole story.

This proposal would raise the Local School Support Portion of your property tax bill from $2.52 per $1,000 assessed value to approximately $3.60. This represents an increase of 43 percent. There may be other proposals that come from the city, including a new fire station and city hall, or from King County, Sound Transit and others. This bond calls for buying land for a “sixth school,” recently revised to be the purchase of the Stevenson property with the use of such property yet to be determined. This proposal has some funding for preparing a master plan for the north campus “mega-block,” but not the money for any changes there.

• Not based on a documented, thorough planning process.

The district did not conduct an environmental review or professional analysis of alternatives. A list of 14 items was submitted by professional engineers serving on the committee as vital to be resolved, and they were not addressed. Alternative solutions were discarded by the planning committee based on false assumptions and insufficient data. Hence, the recommendation of the committee to tear down and re-build our schools is as flawed as the analysis that resulted in this conclusion.

• Not fiscally responsible.

The Bond Resolution approved by the School Board gives the district the authority to eliminate any of the projects listed, and at the same time, add new, yet-to-be-defined projects without a vote of the people. (It says, “…the District shall not be required to accomplish such improvements and may apply the bond proceeds or any portion thereof to other portions of the improvements, to other capital improvements, or to payment of principal of or interest on the Bonds.)

Vote NO and ask the School Board to:

• Use professional planners to help rethink tearing down our schools and come up with a long-term plan for school facilities.

• Provide data, research, documentation and itemized costs for all proposals.

• Work with the City Council to present a big picture of Island needs and options.

For more on why you should vote no, see: www.no-mi-school-tear-down.com.

Trevor Hart

Architect

 

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