Voters to decide on $242 million NKSD bond

Requires 60% approval to pass

The North Kitsap School District board approved putting an estimated $242 million, 20-year bond resolution on the Feb. 13, 2024, special election ballot at its Oct. 19 meeting.

It would require a 60% supermajority 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 overall safety, NKSD documents say.

The funds would replace Pearson and Wolfle elementary schools; expand Gordon and Poulsbo elementary, along with Poulsbo Middle School; 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, the documents read.

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. 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.

A key component to updating the current school facilities is to reduce or eliminate the use of portables, as there are 36 across the district housing approximately 900 students. 25 of those portables are over 20 years old.

Most of the bond funds would be devoted to replacing Pearson and Wolfle elementary schools, estimated at nearly $158 million. Regarding the other elementary school improvements, Gordon is slated to have a new pod of six classrooms, Poulsbo Elementary would have a new modular building of eight classrooms, and Vinland would see parking and access upgrades. The estimated total for those projects is nearly $21 million.

For middle schools, Phase 2 of the new PMS addition is slated to cost just over $26 million while interior upgrades at KMS are projected to cost about $5.5 million.

High school investments will consist of implementing synthetic turf for baseball and softball fields at both NK and Kingston. KHS will also see covered grandstand improvements that include an announcer’s booth, and a permenant concessions, restroom and ticketing building. NKHS will get access, parking and site improvements. The total estimated amount for those projects is about $22.7 million.

The remaining $16.5 million is slated to go toward repairs along with program/project management.