Voters will decide on North Kitsap School District’s estimated $242 million, 20-year bond proposal during the Feb. 13 special election, requiring 60% approval to pass.
If approved, the bond would pay for many projects across the district in efforts to modernize and expand deteriorating schools and to improve safety, NKSD documents say.
Specifically, the bond would rebuild Wolfle Elementary; rebuild Pearson Elementary at a new location; include additions at Gordon and Poulsbo elementaries, along with Poulsbo Middle School (phase 2); upgrade Kingston Middle School; improve North Kitsap and Kingston high schools’ baseball/softball fields and athletic facilities; and make district-wide safety improvements and critical repairs.
Additionally, the bond supports equitable access to safe and modern schools, eliminates aging portables and includes districtwide improvements with stable taxes, per NKSD’s website.
A key component is to reduce or eliminate portables, as there are 36 across the district housing approximately 900 students. 25 are over 20 years old.
In 2022, voters passed levies for education programs/operations and capital projects. The EPO levy is funding an additional building to PMS and slated gym improvements at Suquamish Elementary, among other projects.
The 2024 total tax rate for NK property owners is $2.39 per $1,000 of assessed value. If the bond passes, in 2025 the tax rate would be $2.49 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of $.10. The tax breakdown for each $1,000 of valuation would be $1.31 for the EPO levy rate, 34 cents for the estimated capital levy rate and 84 cents for the estimated bond rate.
The last time NKSD put a bond on the ballot was in 2001 when voters approved a $60 million resolution to help fund the construction of KHS and other district improvements. That bond has been paid off.
Pearson: Hilder Pearson Elementary was built in 1951, and the campus consists of four buildings, including four portables, with multiple points of entry that make safety difficult to manage, the website states.
“There is no separate gym and cafeteria space which creates scheduling issues for specialist classes like physical education. There are no dedicated areas for small group or individualized instruction outside of the classroom. The school is also situated on a busy road and is on a multi-level, narrow property. Architect and design experts note that the size and shape of the property make replacement on the current location very difficult. Any replacement or modernization will displace students for several years.”
The project would build a new school at a new location off of Finn Hill Road, would keep its name and would house all current students, documents read. The 70,000-square-foot school would increase student capacity to 450 students, allowing space for growth in the Poulsbo area. There are currently 379 students at Pearson.
Other details include: modern and flexible learning spaces to support diverse learning environments; separate gym and common space for school and community use; facility built to support Science Technology, Engineering, Art and Math focused learning and programming; improves security by reducing the number of entry points to the school; provides a safe location located off of main roads; upgrades parking, bus pick up/drop off; and new playfields.
The cost would be nearly $83 million with a projected start date of June 2025 if the bond is approved.
Wolfle: David Wolfle Elementary was modernized with a new building in 1990. The current campus consists of eight buildings, including portables, with multiple points of entry. Wolfe staff and volunteers are using hallways for individualized and small group instruction since there are no spaces dedicated to that type of student support. Challenges with the building’s location result in traffic backing up to Highway 104.
“The facility has had ongoing challenges with major systems and infrastructure. Modernization of the existing building would require displacing students to other schools for two years. This displacement of students, along with the challenges of the current facility makes modernization of the current building not feasible.”
The project would replace the existing building and portables with a new 70,000-square-foot building on the north end of the property (current location of field). It would have a student capacity of 450 students.
Other details include: modern and flexible learning spaces; separate gym and common space for school and community use; purpose-built wing for Options K-8 multi-age program; improve security by reducing entry points; upgraded parking, bus pick up/drop off; and new playfields.
Cost would be just over $75 million (project is eligible for just over $5 million in state funds). If the bond is approved, money collected from the 2022 capital levy for the gym will be moved to this project. The projected start date would be June 2026.
Gordon: It consists of five buildings, including portables, documents read.
Project details include: add final wing to school building; add six classrooms and two restrooms; remove all portables; and improving security by reducing entry points. The cost is just over $9 million, and the projected start date would be June 2027.
Poulsbo: Poulsbo Elementary consists of seven buildings, including portables, with multiple points of entry, making security difficult to manage.
Project details include: add a SAGE modular classroom building to replace five portables (it would have 6-8 classrooms and two restrooms, improved natural lighting and energy-saving materials and roof); and improves safety by reducing the number of entry points, per documents. The cost is just under $8.5 million, and the projected start date would be June 2028.
Vinland: Vinland Elementary consists of three buildings, including portables, with multiple points of entry, making safety difficult to manage.
“Accessibility to the school from nearby neighborhoods is very congested and creates traffic on main roads. This poses a safety risk for students and families accessing the school.”
Project details include upgrades to parking and access along with fire alarm systems. The cost is just under $3.5 million, and the projected start date would be June 2027.
Poulsbo (phase 2): It is currently under construction to add 10 classrooms with STEM classrooms and a gathering space for students, documents read. This addition attaches the main building to the lunchroom/gym building. The project removes the portables and increases safety for students moving between buildings. The school does not have a dedicated commons area for serving meals and student gatherings. The science, art and CTE classrooms are exposed to the outside of the school, creating multiple points of entry.
Project details include: build phase 2 of modernization; enclosing and updating the science, CTE and art classrooms; remodeling and expanding gym, auxiliary gym and locker rooms; creating a dedicated commons for school and community use; new central kitchen; and continuing to improve safety by reducing points of entry.
The cost is just over $26 million with a projected start date of June 2028.
Kingston: Established in 1990, Kingston Middle School remains structurally sound and offers ample space to accommodate its current and future student population, the district’s website states. However, the interior elements, including flooring, wall coverings, furnishings and entryways, show significant wear.
“To ensure a conducive and contemporary learning environment that meets the evolving needs of students and educators, these components are in pressing need of modern upgrades and replacements.”
Project details include: system upgrades, fire alarm, roof, technology room; finish work, interior and exterior paint, carpeting; boiler replacement; and asphalt overlay. The cost would be just over $5.5 million with a projected start date of June 2025.
Kingston: Capital improvements were made to the football/soccer field and track from the voter-approved 2018 and 2022 capital levies. The softball and baseball fields have had drainage issues that have resulted in competitions being canceled and played elsewhere. There are no permanent restrooms, concessions or ticketing at the main football/soccer field, which results in an inability to host postseason play. There are no covered bleachers for spectators.
Project details include: install turf for baseball and softball fields; add lighting to baseball and softball fields; add covered metal grandstands to football/soccer field with announcers booth; and add a SAGE modular building that will house permanent restrooms, concessions and ticketing booth, per documents.
The cost would be just under $11.5 million, and the projected start date would be June 2025.
North Kitsap: Capital improvements were made to the football/soccer field, track and ADA accessibility from the voter-approved 2018 and 2022 capital levies. Proper drainage for the baseball and softball fields has been an ongoing issue that both NKSD maintenance and parent/coach volunteers have attempted to address. There are also issues with safe and accessible parking and general access for people with disabilities.
Project details include: install turf for baseball and softball fields; add lighting to baseball and softball fields; upgrade parking access; and improve ADA accessibility to the stadium, baseball and softball fields.
The cost would be just under $11.5 million, and the projected start date would be June 2025.
The remaining $16.5 million of the bond proposal would go toward districtwide repairs along with program/project management.