Enumclaw School District Seeking Approval of $68 Million Bond in April
While the City of Black Diamond moves forward to receive the new housing, community amenities, and commercial development that will be included in two new Yarrow Bay Master Planned Developments (MPDs), the Enumclaw School District that provides the public school facilities in Black Diamond is working to replace the existing elementary school in that City.
The Enumclaw School Board has voted unanimously to submit a $68 million Bond Measure to voters at the special election which will be held on April 28th. If approved by 60% of the voters in the Enumclaw School District, the bond measure would be used to pay for the construction of a new Black Diamond Elementary School. Currently, 40% of the 300 students attending Black Diamond Elementary School are housed in portables.
In addition, proceeds from the bond measure would pay for the cost of substantial upgrades to Enumclaw High School (EHS). The high school renovations would occur in two phases beginning in 2017, with the 2nd phase following a year later in 2018, and would include a two-story structure on the south side of the EHS campus and replacement of older classrooms, the library, science labs, music facilities, the gym and the auditorium.
District taxpayers have been paying $1.60 for every $1,000 of assessed property value on the existing bond measure that paid for Thunder Mountain Middle School. The Bond measure that will be submitted to voters in April is designed to replace the prior bond, maintain the current tax burden of $1.60 per $1,000, and use the new funding authorization to generate more than $68 million to pay for the new elementary school and upgrades to Enumclaw High School. Because the capital bond portion of the District’s tax burden on property owners is expected to remain flat at $1.60 per $1,000 of assessed value, the District is presenting the measure as a “no new taxes” proposal.
Enumclaw school officials indicated that because of the identified need for the two projects, the District would qualify for an additional $18.1 million in state funding. Combined, the District would spend almost $87 million on the two projects.
The cost of a new Black Diamond Elementary School (which would be built on the site of the existing school in order to minimize land acquisition costs) is estimated to be more than $23 million if officials are able to start construction in the summer of 2016, and finish the project in time for the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. During construction, the elementary students would be bused to school in Enumclaw. Information on the bond measure is available on the district website: www.enumclaw.wednet.edu/departments/facilities/facility_conditions/default.aspx