WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee School District will ask voters to approve up to a $66.5 million bond issue in February for school improvements.
The money would be used to:
Build a new Washington Elementary School
Remodel Lincoln Elementary School, the Special Education/Early Childhood Learning Center and the Pioneer Middle School gym
Make safety improvements at the Pioneer Middle School gym and at Mission View Elementary School.
The School Board on Thursday unanimously approved putting the bond on the Feb. 11 ballot.
Superintendent Brian Flones said Washington and Lincoln elementary schools are seriously overcrowded and dependent on portable classrooms.
Washington was built 57 years ago for three grades and is now struggling to handle four grades and nearly 600 students, he said. Both schools, as well as the Special Education/Early Learning Center held in Washington’s Castlerock Wing, have outdated classrooms and failing building systems and aren’t up to the standards needed for modern education programs, he said.
The bond amount is probably pretty close to what the project would cost, Flones said. What isn’t known yet is how much homeowners would be taxed to pay off the bonds. That information should be known, as well as more specifics about the project costs at each school, by the next school board meeting, Oct. 22.
Proposed projects include:
Washington Elementary: $29.2 million for a new, larger school on the same property.
Lincoln Elementary: $23.3 million to add a wing, windows, lighting, bathrooms, floors, heating and air conditioning, a gym and library.
Special Education/Early Childhood Learning Center: $6 million to remodel the building on the Washington Elementary property.
Pioneer Middle School gymnasium: $6.5 million to remodel gym with safety features and new bleachers.
Mission View Elementary School: $600,000 to redesign student pickup area for safety, and expand parking areas.
The improvements would be paid for by the sale of general obligation bonds and then paying off and retiring the bonds within 20 years by levying annual excess property taxes.