Half a million dollar bond is up for vote

Jacqueline Rayfield, Editor-in-Chief

On the April 26 ballot, Issaquah citizens will have the opportunity to vote on whether to pass the largest bond in the history of the Issaquah School District.
The largest ticket item covered by this bond is a fourth comprehensive high school. This high school will pull students from both Issaquah and Skyline, both of which are quickly growing in size.
Skyline and Issaquah each currently have 900 more students than Liberty, and the number of students from the Issaquah Plateau area is projected to increase. If a new school is not built, Dr. Josh Almy estimates that each school would have over 2,500 students in the next five years.
However, there is more than just the number of students to consider with the construction of this new school. The school would also require about 80 acres of land.
“No one knows where the school will be because we have to get the money to buy the land and there’s not a lot of land to buy, and all of it is really expensive because this is one of the most expensive places to live in the Pacific Northwest,” Almy said.
In addition to a new high school, the bond would cover the cost of building a sixth middle school, two new elementary schools, and a rebuild of Pine Lake Middle School and six existing elementary schools.
The central office for the Issaquah school district would also get a makeover.
“The central office was built for a school district less than half the size of what the school district is now,” Almy said. “If you’ve been there recently, very little has been done to that place. It looks like it is right out of the 70’s.”
The final aspect covered by the bond is maintenance costs for buildings throughout the district. These are often multi-million dollar expenses. For example, according to the Issaquah School District website, if the roof of an elementary school fails, it could cost up to two million dollars to replace.
However, even with these costs, the School District assures community members that their taxes would not rise due to this bond. It is merely replacing a previous bond included in tax rates.