Bonds are for building, levies are for learning
All the progress we report on each month is thanks to our voters, who approved the School Construction Bond back in February of 2019. Bond elections are needed in Washington because local school districts are still responsible for the majority of the cost to build new schools and fix old ones.
It is with great thanks to the voters in our area that we are able to build new schools, and fix and expand others.
Next year, our district will have two levies up for renewal. These levy dollars are separate from the 2019 bond. Our Educational Programs and Operations Levy was last renewed in 2018. It helps pay for critical things like special education programs and extra transportation costs — items the state does not fully fund. Our Technology Levy funds our iPad program that helped our district transition quickly to online learning during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can learn more about the Educational Programs and Operations Levy by clicking here. Or keep reading and learn more about our current and future bond projects!
Katherine G. Johnson Elementary
We are excited to report that the power issue at Katherine G. Johnson has been resolved and the power poles are being installed now. We hope to have an updated timeline for the school’s completion soon. While the school is opening later than anticipated, students and staff started the school year in class together using space in nearby schools. That way, once construction is complete, they will be able to move into the new school without missing a beat.
Challenger High School Phase II
The second phase of Challenger High School’s renovation and expansion continues and foundation work is well underway for the 31,000-square foot project. The new building will add more classroom space, as well as more parking and a practice field.
The completed school is scheduled to open to students in the fall of 2022.
Bethel Hope Early Learning Center
While not a bond-funded project, we’ve been following the progress of the Bethel Hope Early Learning Center in these monthly updates.
This month we were incredibly excited to finally welcome students to their new school. More than 220 of our youngest learners are now attending Transitional Kindergarten and preschool at the new center.
Funded by impact fees, the center is the first of its kind in our district. It was designed to allow us to move preschool classrooms out of our crowded elementary schools.
We anticipate the second-round sale of the authorized bonds to proceed in October 2021. This will allow us to move forward with the planned construction of our current and future projects, including the New Bethel High School, the New Naches Trail Elementary and the expansion and renovations of Cedarcrest Middle School and Evergreen Elementary — not to mention the Graham-Kapowsin High School Addition and Renovation Project and the construction of our 19th Elementary School!