"The Bellevue School District will ask voters to approve its largest-ever school-construction initiative, a 20-year, $545 million bond measure in a special election March 11. The measure would fund a $100 million renovation to Bellevue High School; completely rebuild three elementary schools; add science labs, classrooms and security to Sammamish High School; and modernize Tyee and Chinook Middle Schools.
Because of the booming development in downtown Bellevue and the already substantial city tax base, voters can approve the measure and still end up paying half what residents pay in school taxes in many surrounding districts."Now, you look at the figure and go, holy cow! But boy, they get a lot done for their money.
Interestingly (and in tune with what Facilities folk here say about cost escalation):
"The first phase of school modernization, a $324 million bond measure in 2002, paid for construction or renovations to 12 schools. All projects were completed on time, said Steve Brown, chairman of Bellevue Quality Schools, the citizens group that is backing the measure. Because of steep escalation in construction costs over the past few years, three projects weren't built because money ran out."
So they had 12 on the list but did 9. That's pretty good considering over here we do between 5-6.
The irony is this:
"The Bellevue School District mailed an informational postcard to all households. Local school PTSAs also have "inundated" families with information about the bond measure, said Connie Gerlitz, Bellevue PTSA Council president.
Still, some voters who received their ballots in the mail last week said they hadn't heard anything about the bond measure and were shocked by the cost.
"It's a huge number, and I haven't seen a bit of publicity," said Bob Bethke, a Bellevue contractor."Even Bellevue has a hard time getting the word out and their election is in two weeks. But, to their credit, their district mailed a postcard to ALL households (Schools First only sent theirs to 45,000 households, presumably parents of SPS students). (Members of the Board are still stubbornly maintaining that the district's efforts were good enough even though the actual bond language - not the pro argument - in the voter's guide did not detail Denny/Sealth. I find that odd but maybe they are operating on the old saw that if you say something enough times, it becomes true.)
One other thing about Bellevue's plan:
"Under the renovation plan, the old schools would be leveled and rebuilt with ample daylight, interior skylights, modern technology and energy-efficient heating and electrical systems."
SPS Facilities staff has always maintained that its cheaper to NOT level buildings and "remodel" or "renovate" them and yet there goes Bellevue leveling its buildings. I have always wondered if it was more about city permitting than cost for SPS Facilities. (For example, they are not rebuilding Hale because they could never get a permit for it because it was built on a bog and they couldn't get a permit to rebuild on it.)