Quilcene board eyes school bond

Revenue would go toward new elementary school, other projects

QUILCENE — The Quilcene School Board will consider on Monday finalizing and approving a resolution that would place a bond on the upcoming Feb. 8 special election.

If approved, the bond — estimated to be repaid over 20 to 25 years — is to provide funding to replace the district’s elementary school, build a career and technical education building and upgrade some of the district’s athletic facilities and fields, Superintendent Frank Redmon said.

The school board will discuss the draft resolution and bond plans at 6 p.m. Monday.

The bond amount and the cost to taxpayers are among the details that could be finalized at the meeting, Redmon said.

Quilcene residents can attend in person at the district’s board room at 294715 U.S. Highway 101 or watch it on Zoom by emailing Administrative Assistant Jami Sukert at [email protected] for a link to the meeting, Redmon said.

District staff members are analyzing the amount of taxes residents within the district already pay to the district through its Capital Projects levy that was approved in 2020, and aim to have the bond costs be similar so that taxes won’t increase, he said.

However, at this point, specific costs haven’t been finalized.

The current elementary school was built in 1946 and was later updated in the 1980s. It has eight classrooms.

Redmon said in a 2019 community meeting about the potential bond that resources are thin and that teachers have to make concessions to keep students focused, such as adjusting to temperature fluctuations due to poor insulation.

The aging elementary school building is also not seismically sound and has a poor electrical system, Redmon said.

“The building is very outdated and there are some structural concerns, especially around the seismic safety of the building,” Redmon said Thursday.

“We would like to replace the elementary school so that the building that we create is a modern education facility that serves both the needs of our current students, but also provides the flexibility for how education will evolve in the future.”

The philosophy for creating the careers and technical education building is similar, as district officials want to provide a modern building that can meet the need and types of technical education that are needed now, but be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the future, Redmon said.

“We have a robust and growing agriculture program — and we want definitely want to support that — but also think about how the makers space movement can help inform how space is used and how that kind of thinking provides the flexibility in career and technical education that our students and community are interested in,” Redmon said.

If the school board members approve placing the bond on the Feb. 8 ballot, the district will need to form pro and con committees from community members to analyze the project.

Those interested if the resolution is passed are encouraged to contact Redmon at [email protected].

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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