Renton School Board places school construction bond issue on May 20 ballot

  • Measure to continue long-range construction plan received overwhelming support in March; missed required 60% supermajority by mere 78 votes

    March 27, 2008 ― Citizens in the Renton School District will vote on a school building improvement bond measure on May 20, 2008. The election will be an all mail-in election. Those voters who usually vote at the polls will receive a mail-in ballot for this election.

    The $150 million Building for a Lifetime of Learning ― School Improvement Bond was supported by a majority of voters in March but failed to meet the required 60 percent supermajority by only 78 votes. An Education Maintenance and Operations Levy and a Technology Levy both passed in that election with an overwhelming 62 and 60 percent of the vote respectively.

    The Building for a Lifetime of Learning bond will pay for much needed additional classrooms and continued improvement and modernization to classrooms at middle and high schools to offer current and future students a better place to learn.

    Major Work includes:

    • new wing with 10 classrooms at Hazen High School
    • additional middle school classrooms
    • additional high school classrooms
    • Early Childhood Learning Center
    • Secondary Learning Center
    • renovation of Renton Memorial Stadium
    • roof replacement at Lindbergh High School
    • heating and ventilation replacement
    • safety/security improvements
    • library and kitchen improvements
    • track and field renovations

    No tax rate increase
    Approval of the measure will not raise tax rates for Renton School District taxpayers. Because of the vast increase in businesses and families that have moved into the district, tax rates for individuals and families are lower, meaning the district can make school building improvements without raising tax rates.

    The total tax rate will remain an estimated $3.44 per $1,000 of assessed value, keeping the Renton School District tax rate among the lowest in the region.

    Bond funding keeps general budget from being impacted
    Without this bond funding, replacement of roofs, boilers, water heaters and pipes, as well as other school building needs, would have to be paid for from the general fund, which must also pay for teacher salaries, books, classroom materials and daily operating expenses.  

  • Reasons for placing bond issue before voters in May:

    • No tax-rate increase (rate remains a low $3.44/$1,000 of assessed value)

    • Current needs at Middle and High Schools

    • Quality schools for current and future students

    • Support of majority of voters (needed 78 more voters for 60% supermajority)

    • Current good interest rates

    • Good stewards of tax-payer funding (continue long range plan and completing school improvements on-time, on-budget)

    • Waiting will cost more in construction costs