You’ll vote on a Highline Public Schools bond measure this November

It’s official – the Highline Public Schools board has voted to put a bond measure on the November ballot. Full details in this announcement from the district:

A school construction bond to repair or replace deteriorating schools and ease overcrowding will go before voters on November 4, 2014. The School Board passed a resolution at its June 4 meeting to place the bond measure on the 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, and

-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
Average Home Value
Projected Cost Per Year
Projected Cost Per Month

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

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3 Responses to “You’ll vote on a Highline Public Schools bond measure this November”

  1. There is no way I will vote for highline school dist bond levy till they can show they know how to spend money wisely

  2. What current/past spending do you believe is unwise?

  3. The HSD needs to explain how they so royally underbuilt all of the new elementary schools that were part of the LAST bond.

    Part of the reason for the bond, is to build two new middles schools. That is because they want to switch to a 6/7/8 middle scheme, as most of the grade schools are busting at the seems due to high student population.

    In a relatively short time, most of these elementary schools are out of space. How did this happen? Obviously there was surge in students, however WHY was there no excess capacity built in to these new schools? Seems like very poor design planning on the part of HSD.

    With that, what assurances do the citizens have that the same thing won’t happen this time around?

    No one is asking any tough questions regarding this $385 million dollar proposal.