Spokane schools ask voters to say yes to bonds to deal with population growth

Spokane schools ask voters to say yes to bonds to deal with population growth

The Central Valley School District is asking voters to say yes on February 13th to a $129 million bond as their population continues to increase.

Spokeswoman for the district Marla Nunberg said, “right now our high school capacity, we are 1,000 students over that capacity. That’s just currently. We expect we would be 300 beyond that by the time the new school would open.”

In 2015, voters passed a bond to add more elementary schools, the district says now it’s time to focus on the secondary schools.

“We’ve been growing about 300 students a year, that’s about half a school a year,” added Nunberg.

If the bond passes, the Central Valley School District will add one high school and one middle school. They’ll be bigger to keep up with the growing number of students and also help to even out class sizes.

The bond will not cost taxpayers a cent as the district says it will be replacing expiring bonds from prior years.

A vote of yes also promises to help repair Horizon Middle School.

Horizon Middle School principal Jesse Hardt said, “it’s time for a major facelift.”

In the close to 40 years it’s been standing, little has been done to keep up with the times. Ventilation problems are a daily issue inside the school.

“Fluctuations are extreme. We will have 88 degrees in a classroom one time and then 50 degrees in classrooms in the cold weather times,” explained Hardt.

The structure of the building has also complicated security.

“Its wide open space but then there are a lot of spaces that are cut off that you can’t see. You can’t see someone coming and you can’t supervise kids very well,” shared the principal.

More lighting and security cameras will be included in bond approval.

If the bond does not get approved, the district says it would then have to look at changing school boundaries and possible rescheduling at their current high schools.

The Mead School District is also asking voters to pass a bond on February 13th. The $114 million bond would add an elementary school near Highway 95 and a middle school on Five Mile Prairie.

The Mead School District bond could cost the taxpayer close to $19.25 a month on average if a levy that is on the ballot does not pass as well.