2018 Facilities Bond Facts for Jan. 9

A Message from the Department of Communications and Community Relations

Dear Families and Community,

As many of you know, voters will decide on a bond on Feb. 13 regarding facilities for Bellingham Public Schools.

This bond includes the highest priority needs. There are many facts to share related to the bond. We will send you periodic emails that include facts related to the bond over the coming weeks; these facts are for you to consider, digest and share as you see fit. These emails will also include links to our website, other facts and videos illustrating our facility needs, including this video featuring two Parkview Elementary students.

 
2018 Bond – Bellingham Public Schools

You can also see this webpage for more information and other videos.

 

Interesting Bond-Related Facts and Information:

  • The majority of the 2018 Feb. bond would include $89 million to rebuild Alderwood, Parkview and Sunnyland

These three elementary schools were recommended due to their condition as well as their proximity to the growth occurring in north Bellingham, allowing for additional enrollment capacity or “infill” of our existing elementary schools before building a fifteenth elementary school in a future bond (not part of this bond recommendation).

These elementary schools may be rebuilt adjacent to the existing schools, allowing students to continue to attend their schools until the new school opens, similar to how Happy Valley was built and Sehome is being constructed. The recent improvements of a new cafeteria and gym at Parkview would be incorporated and used in the design of the new school.

 

  • Why is the bond needed?

In spring 2017, Bellingham Public Schools convened a Facilities Planning Task Force representing staff, students, community members and parents from across our school district. Task force meeting minutes, presentations and data from our process, as well as full details of the recommendation, are posted on the Facilities Planning Task Force webpage.
Their recommendation reflects this bond proposal, which is on the Feb. 13 ballot.

Our schools cannot rely on the federal and state government to adequately fund school construction and protect the community’s investment through maintenance projects of our existing facilities. Therefore, school districts in our state ask local voters to approve bonds to cover these costs.

 

  • Providing Long-Term Technology Infrastructure and Reader Boards

Cost estimate: $1.89 million

The task force reviewed long-term technology needs for our schools. These technology infrastructure improvements are different than the short-term needs such as computer and software that are funded by our technology levy. These long-term technology needs include cabling and improved technology infrastructure.

The task force also learned that some parent organizations are fundraising for school reader boards as a communication tool for important reminders to parents during pick-up and drop-off times. This would provide reader boards for schools that want them, eliminating this fundraising need.

 

These are just some of the projects funded by the proposed bond. Please get more details about the other planned projects and financial implications on our website and view our videos, or check out our progress on facilities projects built from past bonds.

If you have questions about the bond, feel free to contact the Department of Communications and Community Relations, 360-676-6520.

Thank you and remember to vote in February!