Moses Lake school bond supporters go back to drawing boards

Moses Lake school bond supporters go back to drawing boards

The news was not so good for school bond supporters in Moses Lake who were left shell shocked Tuesday, after voters rejected a $98 million bond.

The bond would have built a second high school on the corner of Stratford Rd. and Harris Rd. and would also add updates to Moses Lake High School, as well as safety and security updates.

Despite the failed bond, educators and parents are extremely optimistic. The day after the bond failed they were already back to the drawing boards on Wednesday.

“Obviously it’s disappointing. This is not what is best for our students,” teacher Amy Utter said.  

Utter has taught at Moses Lake High School for 21 years. She was there for the school’s last renovation in the mid 1990’s, where updates were made to accommodate around 1,600 students. Today, 2,200 students make their way through the packed halls and classrooms. Principal Josh Meeks said it makes it hard to give students a normal high school experience.

“There isn’t a time when all students are here, when all staff is here, there isn’t a time for things like school-wide assemblies,” Meeks said.

This year the school district extended the school day until 5 P.M., staggering students to try and alleviate congestion. Administrators said it’s not a long-term solution, to fix the growing district enrollment.

“I think there is a lot of confusion and a lot of fear. I think Moses Lake has been a small rural community for a very long time and we are no longer that community,” Utter said.

With the failure of Tuesday night’s bond the high school will move to a year-round schedule. One schedule being considered is nine weeks on three weeks off, staggered to fit in all the students. Supporters of the bond say, again, it’s not a permanent solution and hope the bond will make it’s way to the November ballot.

“I’m hoping we can figure out what it’s going to take , what the line of communication needs to be, to convince the community that this is really what’s best for our students,” Utter said.  

In the meantime, the school will make the most their situation, with the little space they have.

“Despite this challenge we will continue to be a great school district for kids to learn and grow,” Meeks said.

In the coming weeks the school board will meet to determine what’s next. As of now a year round school is slated for the fall of 2016.