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Snoqualmie Valley district bond vote to decide school repairs, too

Regardless of approval, almost every school building in the Snoqualmie Valley School District will feel the effects of the February 8 bond measure.

Most of the $56.2 million bond is dedicated to building a new Snoqualmie Middle School, but 14 percent of funds raised will go to repairs and improvements at the high school, each middle school, three elementary schools, and Two Rivers School—fixes that school officials say are overdue.

Roughly $7.9 million will fix a long list of problems at each of the buildings, as well as addressing possible curriculum needs.

District spokeswoman Carolyn Malcolm said that most of the funds are already designated for specific projects.

“There is some funding in there for any curriculum improvements that have a structural element... it’s kind of an integrated learning approach,” she said.

Plant Operations Supervisor Carl Larson detailed specific repairs needed to each building. Mount Si High School will get two new metal wheelchair-accessible ramps for the portable classrooms, and floors will be fixed in the hallways and other main walkways. Existing carpet and vinyl flooring will be torn out, so that the plywood sub-floor, which has broken down with hard use, can be replaced. Larson is considering new carpet or a more durable but more expensive rubber surface.

Chief Kanim Middle School has two major projects planned, replacing sidewalks and renovating its athletic field. The sidewalks have been disrupted by large tree roots, so the district plans to tear out the sidewalks, trim the tree roots back somewhat, and then re-pour the sidewalks. A similar process will be used on the natural-turf athletic field. “We’re starting from scratch,” said Larson. All of the grass will be removed and a new drainage system will be installed before a new artificial-turf surface is laid.

Snoqualmie Middle School will be updated with two new wheelchair ramps for its portable classrooms. In all, ramps will be replaced at five school buildings. One benefit of this project is that it will eliminate all of the district’s old wooden ramps, improving safety.

“Also, these metal ramps can be moved,” Larson said.

Malcolm said that SMS might also need some renovations to complete its conversion to a freshman campus by 2013. That funding is already in place, about $3 million reserved from the 2009 voter-approved bond.

Twin Falls Middle School would get a new artificial-turf athletic field from the bond money. The artificial turf is preferable to grass at both schools because “those fields are so over-used, there’s no way to maintain them with grass,” Larson said.

Fall City Elementary and North Bend Elementary Schools both need new boilers, and will get them if the bond is approved. Larson said that both buildings had smaller boilers, which don’t have a very long lifespan. Both of the boilers to be replaced are about 11 years old, and “it seems like every year, they’re in constant repair,” Larson said.

These two elementary schools, along with Opstad Elementary, would also be getting new metal wheelchair-accessible ramps.

Two Rivers School would have a new roof installed, possibly this summer, if the bond is approved. “That roof, because of the high winds there, is due,” said Larson. “We’d like to install a new 100 mile-an-hour roof on the school.”

The proposed bond issue would increase property taxes in the district by an estimated 47 cents per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value, or about $188 annually for a $400,000 home.

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