Vote yes for bond to build middle school

January 26, 2011

By Contributed

The importance of one item on the Feb. 8 ballot towers above the rest: the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s $56.2 million bond request to build a new middle school and make timely improvements to other schools.

The yes vote should come easy. A new middle school is the solution voters wanted.

The school district previously sent three major construction bonds to voters, and each times voters said no. One of the primary reasons cited for rejecting the bond? Valley residents made it clear that they did not want a second high school in the district. Cost was certainly a factor, but the pride of the Mount Si Wildcats runs strong and true.

Voters weren’t saying they accepted an overcrowded high school, they just believed there were better alternatives.

The school board listened and learned, and then found a clever solution to resolving crowding at Mount Si High School. Rather than build a second high school — the bond requested was $200 million, plus higher operating costs — or expand the current prep campus, the board has wisely decided to turn nearby Snoqualmie Middle School into a satellite campus for ninth-graders. That’s an innovative solution that’s good for freshmen as they transition to high school, and relieves the current campus of the overcrowded classrooms that are detrimental to learning.

But the problem of where to house students has now shifted to the middle school. Only a few years ago, Valley voters decided two middle schools were not enough for the district and added Twin Falls Middle School. With the older Snoqualmie Middle School now becoming part of Mount Si High, the choice is whether to go back to two overcrowded middle schools utilizing portable classrooms, or build a new Snoqualmie Middle School. The land and the plans are already in hand. The only thing missing is voter approval of a construction bond.

Don’t wait until Feb. 8 to turn in your ballot; add a stamp and return it today. Ask your neighbors to do the same. This community solution deserves a strong community yes vote.

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