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Why I vote ‘no’ on the LWSD bond measure | Letter
Recently, the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) put up for a vote two levy measures and one bond measure requesting more money for the district. The levy measures passed, however, the bond measure failed. Per an email from LWSD Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce and the school board members and information on the district webpage, a survey was conducted of 400 residents in the district to ascertain why the bond measure failed. As I was not one of the residents contacted, I thought I would explain my particular reasons for voting “no” on the bond measure.
I have lived in Redmond for more than 30 years and three of my four children have graduated from Redmond High School (RHS); my fourth child is a freshman this year at RHS. My husband is also a graduate of RHS. Over the past 10-plus years, I have watched as the district has repeatedly asked for more and more money to fund building projects to “modernize” aging buildings and build new schools. My belief is that the district has used these funds in less than effectual ways and with dreadful results.
• Horace Mann Elementary was demolished and rebuilt in 2003 with two fewer classrooms than the original building. This fall it will house four portables due to the overflow of students from Rockwell Elementary.
• Redmond Junior High (now middle school) was demolished and rebuilt in 2002 with the same number of classrooms as the original building. It now houses three portables.
• RHS has been rebuilt several times; in 1985 and in 2003. A gym and additional classroom building was added in 2012 along with two portables. An additional two portables were added in the summer of 2013.
• Lake Washington High School was modernized in 2011. The failed bond measure requested funds to add more classroom space for projected student population of 2,000 students by 2021.
The above are just four examples of how the district has failed to project the need for classrooms and plan for student growth within a 10-year span; let alone the 30 to 40 years that school buildings are expected to last.
LWSD receives many awards for its academic proficiency, and it stands to reason that many families will want to move within the district to take advantage of these programs. In addition, Redmond and other areas within the district are still experiencing tremendous housing growth, including multi- and single-family houses in most areas. Older residents are moving out and their residences filled with families — many with more than one child.
I voted “no” on the bond measure because I believe the district has used previous funds in a negligent and wasteful manner. I will vote “no” again in April because I do not believe the district’s plans for the new bond funds are any different.
Paige A. Norman, Redmond