APR 26 First Election day results posted to the web at 8:15 p.m.
APR 27 Results posted by 4:30 p.m., including votes cast at the accessible voting centers.
A great article about how the Issaquah School District’s energy efficiency saves us all money. Just another example of the District’s stellar fiscal responsibility and commitment to local residents.
Issaquah Reporter – April 13, 2016
by DANIEL NASH, Issaquah Reporter Staff Writer
Apr 13, 2016
Puget Sound Energy presented the Issaquah School Board with an incentive check for $54,404 on March 23.
The check was awarded for the school district’s participation in the Resource Conservation Managers program.
The program forgoes an equipment-focused take on energy management in favor of methods that emphasize operations, maintenance and behavior — such as making sure a building isn’t heating itself too early or too late, Beth Robinweiler of PSE said.
The district has been involved with PSE energy efficiency programs since 1997 and began its most recent participation in the Resource Conservation Managers program in 2011.
Twenty-eight buildings participated. Energy use was reduced by a million kilowatt hours — a 4.6 percent reduction — and 24,600 therms.
“That is enough electricity and gas to power one of your middle schools for a year,” Robinweiler told the School Board.
The district’s resource conservation manager, Chris Bruno, was hired permanently as the energy use manager.
Bruno said his goal was to expand the use of LED lighting beyond the 60,000 bulbs currently being used — first on his list being the School Board chambers.
“That technology is exploding right now,” he said. “The prices are dropping, the technology is improving … And so my ultimate goal in the district is to have it be completely, 100 percent, LED lit.”
DANIEL NASH, Issaquah Reporter Staff Writer
firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-654-0383
East of Seattle News Editorial
April 5, 2016
A recent public hearing at City Hall Northwest on the Issaquah School District’s proposed construction and maintenance bond attracted exactly one speaker: a member of the Issaquah School Board, who spoke in favor of the $533 million question that is going before voters this month.
It’s apparent the district has a good thing going. It seems as if every time the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction releases new education statistics, Issaquah shines. Chronic absenteeism? Among the lowest in the state. Graduation rates? Among the highest. One local housing development under construction trumpeted the “renowned Issaquah School District” in its promotional materials.
And those housing developments are the reason property taxes would not rise if voters approve the bond. Issaquah’s explosive growth, adding more and more residents to the tax base, means the district can ask citizens for half a billion dollars and still keep the tax rate at or below the current $4.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That’s $2,070 if your home is valued at $500,000.
All those new residents are bringing new students with them. The district says it has grown by more than 2,000 students in the past four years and expects to add between 1,500 and 2,000 students in the next five. Hence, the need for school construction.
The bond would pay for a new high school, the district’s fourth, at a budgeted cost of $120 million, according to the district. A new middle school, the district’s sixth, is projected to cost $74 million. A rebuild of Pine Lake Middle School will run $71 million. Two new elementary schools are expected to cost a combined $74 million. And land acquisition for the four brand-new schools is budgeted at $97 million.
In addition, six existing elementary schools would be remodeled and modernized at a projected cost of $7 million to $9 million each.
If the bond fails, taxes would drop, but not significantly. According to statistics provided by the district, by 2019, the tax rate would decline to about $3.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or $1,750 on a $500,000 home. Is that reduction of less than $300 annually in taxes worth overcrowded schools and outdated facilities?
Vote yes on the Issaquah School District bond April 26.
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Issaquah Reporter – March 25, 2016
by DANIEL NASH, Issaquah Reporter Staff Writer
Mar 24, 2016
A half-billion dollar capital projects bond measure to build and rebuild Issaquah schools has received its stamp of approval from the Issaquah School District’s namesake city.
The Issaquah City Council voted Monday night to endorse Proposition 1 in the April 26 special election.
The approval came following a public hearing for the school construction bond. The only Issaquah resident to speak was School Board member Lisa Callan, who thanked the council for their support.
If approved by voters, the bond will authorize $533.5 million to construct four new school campuses across all primary and secondary grade levels and rebuild or modernize several others.
The funds will come from general obligation bonds to be repaid through property taxes.
Councilmember Bill Ramos said he hoped all Issaquah voters would support the bond.
“My children are … out of the school system,” he said. “But schools are important for all of us. The schools that make our community make our future.”
Issaquah Press – March 16, 2016
By Tom Corrigan
In April 2012, about 70 percent of Issaquah School District voters approved a $219 million bond package to fund capital projects throughout the district.
Some of those projects are still underway, such as the new $19.5 million Clark Elementary School and the related rebuilding of Issaquah Middle School for $64 million.
Even as that work moves forward, the district is asking for approval of a $533 million bond package that, among other things, will fund a fourth district high school, a sixth middle school and two new elementary schools – Nos. 16 and 17.
Back in 2012, district officials advertised that another bond package would not be needed for six years. In talking about the current bond package, Suzanne Weaver, a member of the district board of directors now and in 2012, doesn’t hesitate to admit the district did not reach its goal of waiting for six years to go back to voters. Ultimately, the plan was to line up bond campaigns to fund capital projects with levy campaigns for operating dollars, but that didn’t happen.
“That would have been nice,” Weaver said.
She and others said two key factors led district leaders to believe they just couldn’t wait another two years to float a bond question.
One issue is the residential growth within the district, which inevitably leads to a growing student population. The district grew by more than 2,000 students in the past four years, and what district officials call conservative projections show an additional 1,500 to 2,000 new students walking through school doors in the next five years. Calls for smaller class sizes and all day kindergarten are also adding to the need for additional space. Weaver said all-day kindergarten means 16 additional classrooms will be needed.
By making use of libraries, computer rooms and so on, Weaver said all-day kindergarten would be offered next year with or without passage of the bond package.
The growing scarcity of land available for new schools was another important factor in the decision to go to back to voters this year. Weaver said not only is it getting more difficult to find room for new schools, the property that is available is only getting more and more expensive. One estimate put property acquisition costs at close to $100 million.
One thing that not’s getting more and more expensive is local property taxes, at least not because of schools, said Weaver and Alicia Veevaert, vice-president of Volunteers for Issaquah Schools. VIS is a grassroots group running the bond campaign.
The bond sale will add nothing to district property tax rates, according to information from VIS and the district. However, as previous bonds and debts are paid off, tax rates will not go down.
At present, tax rates sit at about $4.14 per $1,000 in property valuation.
Besides four new buildings, some of the planned projects include a $71 million rebuild of Pine Lake Middle School. An upgrade of Beaver Lake Middle School would run $8.5 million. Five existing elementary schools would be revamped at a cost of
$7 million to $9 million each. The central administration building would get a revamp and expansion with a price tag of $7.5 million.
The bond proceeds also would fund $6 million in portable classrooms, $6 million for project management and a $12 million reserve or contingency fund.
Officials have steadfastly declined to identify where new schools might go. The reason is to avoid sudden price hikes or getting into a bidding war with developers, said L. Michelle, district director of communications. Weaver did say that a spot somewhere between Issaquah and Skyline high schools would be ideal for the new high school.