ENTIAT — The Entiat School District will present voters with a leaner bond proposal in November to modernize and expand the Paul Rumburg Elementary School.
“We need repairs to have a safe, comfortable learning space,” says the district’s new superintendent, Ismael Vivanco.
The 65-year-old school was built in 1948 and has outgrown even the upgrades it has received since then, Vivanco said.
The $5.6 million bond is $2.3 million less than one that voters narrowly rejected in February.
Since then, the district switched architects, redrew plans and reduced costs by $10 to $20 per square foot, Vivanco said.
The new design reduces the project size by 3,100 square feet by “stacking” new space instead of spreading out,” Vivanco said, and using existing space more efficiently.
The bond would be used to replace old plumbing and wiring, add insulation, and replace the heating and air conditioning system.
It adds a new cafeteria and common area with room on top for two new classrooms, Vivanco said.
The new space would get the classrooms and cafeteria out of the basement for easier and safer access for students, staff and visitors, he said. The cafeteria and kitchen would also be upgraded for the first time since the school was built.
The new design leaves the district’s administrative office, portables, playground and parking lot where they are, but makes minor improvements.
Vivanco said he’s so pleased with the new design that he calls the February bond rejection “almost a blessing in disguise.”
The bond would build on improvements already made, which include getting the athletic department’s weight room out of the old storage closet and into a new space, created by reducing the wood shop space by half.
The new bond would replace an existing bond that expires in December.
It would add 61 cents to voters’ existing tax burden — $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed value, compared to the old, expiring bond rate of $1.18 per $1,000.
“We’re optimistic and hopeful,” Vivanco said. “We want to make sure we’re great stewards of the people’s money.”