Elementary School Bond
Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members,
The Ellensburg School District Board of Directors authorized a bond proposition to be placed on the November 6, 2018, special election ballot to alleviate overcrowding and address critical safety and maintenance concerns at the elementary school level. This plan will add space and renovate Lincoln and Mount Stuart Elementary Schools, and build a new elementary school on newly purchased property on the northwest side of town.
- What is the capacity vs. enrollment at each elementary school?
- Why not just add more portable classrooms?
- What are enrollment projections?
- What renovations are needed at Lincoln and Mount Stuart Elementary Schools?
- What is the capacity and location of the proposed new elementary school?
- What is the cost of the project?
- How will this impact my taxes?
- How can I get more information?
Portables do not provide secure or controlled entrances, compromising the safety of our elementary students.One of the things often forgotten is when we add portables to a building, the common areas of a building (offices, music rooms, counseling, gym, cafeteria, bathrooms) are built for a certain internal capacity. What happens when we add portables, then, is that the internal capacity cannot best meet the needs of learners.
Number of current classrooms in portables: Lincoln, 6; Mount Stuart, 8; Valley View, 10
- Enrollment Increase started with a large kindergarten class during the 2013 -14 school year
- Since that time kindergarten enrollment continues to come in at 250+ students
- 17%+ increase in enrollment over the last five years
- This is an average increase of approximately 30 students per year in comparison to typical enrollment
- Students continue to transfer into the district at all grade levels
Mount Stuart Elementary School will add a new gym and classrooms, increasing capacity from 350 to 500 students. A secure entrance will be designed into the front of the school so that visitors do not enter the school into the main hallway. The cafeteria will be expanded to accommodate more students. HVAC will be installed so that students can stay in school during smoke season. A new pitched roof will be installed to rectify leaking issues and to make room for critical treatment and air handling systems. The drop off for parents will be separated from bussing to improve student safety. Other critical maintenance issues will be addressed.
While continuing to build on the history and heritage of Lincoln Elementary and protecting our investment in the building, the following renovations are planned. Lincoln Elementary School will add a new gym and classrooms, increasing capacity from 350 to 450 students. The cafeteria will be relocated and expanded with a bigger kitchen and eating space for students. Seismic issues will be addressed to bring the school up to code. ADA issues will be addressed, including leveling floors and installing an elevator. Parking will be expanded at the front of the school. HVAC will be installed so that students can stay in school during smoke season and to rectify temperature issues on second floor classrooms. Other critical maintenance issues will be addressed.
The proposed new school would be built on 29 acres near Mount Stuart Elementary School that our school district is in the process of purchasing. Capacity at the new elementary school will be 500 elementary students + 50 developmental pre-K. The school board will seek public input during the design process.
With the recent McCleary decision ordering the state to fully fund K-12 public schools as required by Article IX of the Washington Constitution and capping local levies at $1.50 per thousand of assessed value, and the high school bond being paid off in 2021, this bond will result in NO INCREASE to the local tax rate.
Local taxes are based on assessed property value. Due to the McCleary decision, in 2019 the school district local levy, known as the education and operations levy (E&O), is now limited to $1.50 per thousand of assessed value. In 2017, the E&O levy was $3.47 per $1,000 of assessed value. This year, the E&O levy is $2.74 per $1,000 of assessed value. As mentioned, in 2019 that will be limited to $1.50, allowing us to renovate and build without an increase in the local tax rate to our community.
We are here to answer your questions about the bond, existing and planned facilities, enrollment, tax rate or anything else you’d like to discuss.
Use the form below to reach us and continue to check this site and our Facebook page for updates and public forum information.