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School levies, bond, set for 2014 ballots

Few of the numbers are final, but the dates for Snoqualmie Valley School District voters to decide on them are official. The full school board agreed last night, Thursday, Oct. 10, to put two levy measures on the Feb. 11, 2014, ballot, and a capital facilities bond on the April 22, 2014, ballot.

The levies, both four-year renewals of the district's existing maintenance-and-operations and technology levies, would authorize the district to levy an estimated $18.2 million in 2015. While the technology levy remains fixed at 2.7 million annually, the other levy, renamed the educational programs and operations levy, will start at $15.5 million, and increase by $1 million each year.

The bond amount is much less definite, though, because the school board has not reached agreement on what capital facilities to fund. Although the full board decided in August to pursue $200 million project combining the immediate construction of a sixth elementary school with a multi-year, phased remodel of Mount Si High School, discussion at the Oct. 10 meeting included splitting the bond into its component parts (eventually rejected), and expanding it to cover some of the needs at other district buildings.

Preliminary enrollment projections from the district's new demographer, Les Kendrick of Education Data Solutions, also complicated the discussion. By the fall of 2018, phase 1 of a remodel would be complete and the district could move its freshman students back onto the main campus, according to architect projections. However, projected enrollment figures for that same year show that high school numbers range from 1,898 to 2,051. By the fall of 2021 when the remodel is complete with a 2,100-student capacity, enrollment projections range from 2,007 to 2,255.

School board members plan to prepare an initial draft of their April bond proposal for review at the Oct. 24 meeting.
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