PORT ORCHARD — South Kitsap School District is asking voters to approve a school bond measure to update the safety and security of current schools in the district, as well as build a second comprehensive high school.
The Feb. 14 special election is the third attempt by the school board to fund building a new high school, having most recently failed in April.
The proposed cost of the new bond is $172.6 million, with an estimated $10.8 million matched by the state. The bond would be paid over 21 years and cost property owners $1.56 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
“I am proud of the thoughtful process our school board used in the development of this bond and levy,” School Board President Greg Wall said. “We listened to our community and incorporated the changes they wanted to see.
“We are thankful to our families, staff, students and community partners for their continued support of South Kitsap schools. The future of South Kitsap looks bright.”
Interim Superintendent Karst Brandsma also is pleased with the effort put toward passing the newest bond measure. With the overcrowding of South Kitsap High School, the continual nagging questions of the community and the high tax increase for a new bond, he said SKSD worked closely with the community to update this proposal.
“We are very appreciative of all the support shown to the South Kitsap School District,” Brandsma said. “We have had over 50 informational meetings and presentations with staff, parents, civic clubs, government organizations and community members. The district is fortunate to have such an involved, caring and informed electorate.”
Although the School Board is proud of their accomplishments, there are still many naysayers of the school district’s attempt at yet another bond measure.
“I’m not against education or our kids who are ‘our future,’” wrote James Roton of Port Orchard when the district announced its plans. “I am against ‘only 32 (or more!) per month’ added to our property tax bills for a home with a value of $250,000.”
Roton questioned the bond’s impact to seniors on fixed incomes and encouraged voters to vote “no.”
Also on the ballot is the renewal of a levy, which must be voted on every four years, to bridge the gap between state and federal funding. The levy is not a new tax but a renewal, the district said, and is estimated to costs homeowners $3.73 per $1,000 of their home’s assessed valuation.
The tax levy would generate $24.3 million in 2018, $24.6 million in 2019, $25 million in 2020, and $25.5 million in 2021. The revenue would go into the district’s general fund to help support educational programs, and maintenance and operations.
The ballot must be postmarked by 8 p.m. Feb. 14. Ballot drop boxes are at the Kitsap County Administration Building, 619 Division St., and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue, 1974 Fircrest Drive, and 7990 McCormick Woods Drive.
You can read more information about the latest bond attempt in previous articles at www.kitsapdailynews.com