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Schools seek new bond

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Superintendent: All seven schools could benefit

Voters in the Shelton School District will consider a building bond and a replacement levy on the February 2017 ballot.

Shelton School Board President Sally Brownfield announced the measures in brief comments Tuesday evening at the board's regular board meeting.

The district hasn't decided what building improvements will be on the Feb. 14 ballot, or how much money it will ask for, Superintendent Alex Apostle said in an interview with the Journal. The district is looking to improve all seven schools, he said.

The only building being considered for replacement is Mountain View Elementary, Apostle said.

The district will ask each school to assemble an advisory team to come up with recommendations on improvements at their buildings, Apostle said. The members will use a 2012 district study and survey of what each school needs as a guide, he said.

Those advisory teams will report to a citizens' advisory board, which will make a recommendation to the school board, the superintendent said.

The district has the capacity to propose a bond of up to $67.4 million, Apostle said.

Voters on Feb. 14 will also be asked to replace the current levy at the same amount, $4.26 per $1,000 of home valuation.

As district officials examine their buildings, they are also reconsidering its grade configuration. Students currently attend the district's three elementary schools through fifth grade. They then attend grades six and seven at Olympic Middle School; eight and nine at Oakland Bay Junior High; and grades 10 through 12 at Shelton High School.

District officials have stressed that students drop out during the transition to the next building. Most high schools in Washington serve grades nine through 12, Apostle said.

Replacing Shelton High School is not a consideration because a 2012 district report states a new high school would cost $106 million, Apostle said.

That leaves the spotlight on Mountain View Elementary. The original 13,236-square-foot building was constructed in 1955. A 6,225-foot addition was made in 1969, another 7,436 square feet in 1970 and 178 feet in 1988.

The building is old, worn and lacks classroom space, Apostle said.

The district last passed a building bond in February 2001. The $31 million bond included $12.6 million to construct and equip Olympic Middle School; $8.5 million to construct and equip a new Evergreen Elementary School; $3.5 million to modernize Bordeaux Elementary; $3.1 million to enhance and improve Shelton High School; $1.6 million to demolish the Angle building and reconfigure the site for construction of a new elementary school; $700,000 to enhance and improve Mountain View Elementary: $650,000 to relocate administration and CHOICE High School to the old Evergreen Elementary building; and $260,000 to purchase district maintenance facilities.

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Original Publication Date: March 10, 2016

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