Three important measures on ballots arriving now in mailboxes; deadline to return is Feb. 14
January 26, 2012-Voters in the Renton School District have begun receiving their ballots for the Feb. 14 election that includes a “Building for a Lifetime of Learning” school construction measure with plans to build a much-needed middle school in the north end of the district.
The district has placed the school construction measure on the ballot along with a levy to replace the expiring Education Maintenance and Operations Levy―which provides nearly 30 cents of every dollar spent in classrooms―and a technology levy to continue to provide teachers and students with 21st Century technology.
WHY IS AN ADDITIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL NEEDED
Student enrollment in the district has increased by more than 1,700 students in less than 10 years as families move into the area for affordable housing, good schools and good community and city amenities. Student populations have increased in every school in the district. Currently, elementary students from the district's 14 elementary schools funnel into the three existing middle schools. Middle school populations (more than 1,000 students at each middle school) are now nearly as big as high schools, yet there is less available learning space at middle schools. An additional middle school will relieve pressure at current middle schools and allow for additional much-needed
learning space for students now and well into the future.
WHERE WOULD AN ADDITIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL BE BUILT
The district will present the School Board with a plan to build the new middle school at the site of the old Hazelwood Elementary School at 166th Ave SE in Newcastle. Using a site already owned by the district eliminates the need to find and purchase costly land, and provides a space for a shovel-ready project.
If voters approve the measure on the Feb. 14 ballot, the district would move quickly to start the process to build the school. It is anticipated that a middle school could open within a few years of voter approval.