More students expected
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Voter Information / Bond Facts
The cities of Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish are growing. Based on careful estimates, the district has projected 4,000 more students in the next eight years. The district uses a formula to determine the number of students to expect that includes:
- Monitoring King County births
- Tracking all development
Projects included in the bond measure
The money from this bond will pay for the following construction projects:
- Build and equip three new elementary schools and one new middle school to house students and keep schools from being overcrowded
Why? Three new elementary schools (two in Redmond and one in Kirkland) and a new middle school (in Redmond) would be built to ease overcrowding at both the elementary and middle school level in Redmond and in the elementary level in Kirkland. Currently, all elementary schools in Redmond are over permanent capacity and most are using portable classrooms to meet the demand. Two of the elementary schools in Redmond (Redmond Ridge and North Redmond) will be built on land already acquired using impact fees from new development. The district is searching for suitable land for the elementary school in Kirkland and for the middle school in Redmond.
- Rebuild and expand Juanita High School
Why? Juanita High School was built in 1971 and has a substandard layout. Many classrooms have no windows. The current building is 26,000 square feet smaller than the current educational specifications call for in a high school. Remodeling to meet the educational specifications would be difficult and would require numerous moves and phasing resulting in a greatly extended timeline. In addition, Juanita High School would be expanded to house a larger number of students. This project would also allow the next project, a STEM-focused high school, to be built on the Juanita campus, on land the district already owns.
- Build and equip a new STEM-focused high school
Why? The district’s choice STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) high school, Tesla STEM High School (located in Redmond), currently draws the majority of its students from the Eastlake and Redmond boundaries, based upon its location. With this bond, a 600-student STEM-focused high school would also be built on the Juanita High School campus, allowing a larger number of students from the Kirkland area to participate in these programs, thereby opening more space in the current Tesla STEM High School for students from Redmond and Sammamish. For next school year (2014-2015), 355 students applied for enrollment at Tesla STEM High School for ninth grade. Of those, only 150 were granted enrollment, based upon space available.
- Expand Lake Washington High School
Why? A new Lake Washington High School was planned, designed and built before the grade reconfiguration to four-year high schools. While the reconfiguration reduced the need for additional elementary schools by shifting one grade level up to the middle schools, it also increased the need for space at the high school level. Lake Washington High School was designed with future expansion in mind, so the design has been created to expand this school to meet enrollment growth.
Changes to kindergarten
In addition to the expected enrollment growth, state funding for all-day kindergarten is expected to increase the space needed for kindergarten classes, as all kindergarteners will soon attend all-day. Currently, two half-day kindergarten classes can share one classroom. This state funding will increase the need for classroom space to accommodate all-day kindergarten programs.
Cost & Investment
This bond measure would raise $404 million to invest in building new schools needed to accommodate growth and to replace and expand existing schools, costing an additional 25 cents per thousand dollars of a home’s assessed value. The increase for a home of average value ($500,000*) in Lake Washington School District would be $125 per year, or $10.42 per month. It would increase the amount paid by taxpayers toward debt service for past bonds and the six-year capital projects levy passed in 2011 from $1.31 per thousand to $1.56 per thousand. A detailed accounting of the costs for this bond measure and other construction is available here.
*Approximate assessed value of the average home in Lake Washington School District per King County in 2014.