School board begins 2014 capital bond talks
EVERETT — The Everett School District is preparing a multimillion dollar capital bond request for 2014.
The district is scheduling the bond for a special election Feb. 11, 2014.
The bond request could be anywhere between $24 million and $200 million for new schools, school upgrades, safer playgrounds and general maintenance.
The district will ask the public this summer and early fall for input on which projects should get funded, but it outlined its ideas to the school board last week.
The district’s top priorities for new construction are a new elementary school in south Everett, expanding three other elementary schools and adding more high school capacity.
The district also wants to either rebuild or modernize North Middle School, modernize Cascade and Everett high schools and upgrade Woodside Elementary School as high priority. Three other elementary schools are due for modernizing.
North Middle School was last modernized in 1981.
The board will have to determine how to house more high school students. The district’s list suggests a new small-sized high school to meet demand, but board president Jeff Russell questioned the idea. The district has building a large high school listed as another option.
“The question is whether you continue to expand Jackson High School and Cascade High School or ... build a high school,” district facilities director Mike Gunn said.
The district wants to add security features in schools and replace roofs, heating and cooling and floors at about a dozen schools.
The bond also would pay for making playgrounds across the district safer and give seed money for the district to buy property for its planned 19th elementary school and fourth high school.
Bond requests like this are routine every four to six years for most districts. Everett voters approved similar bonds for the past 30 years, Gunn said.
The district’s last bond request in 2006 was its biggest yet at $199 million. The 2006 bond built Forest View Elementary, extensively rebuilt Garfield, Jefferson, View Ridge and James Monroe elementary schools and upgraded many others. Voters also approved a 2002 bond request for $53 million.
The school board is scheduled in November to approve placing the 2014 bond on next February’s ballot.
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