Update: As of Feb. 18, 2022, the election was certified and the school facilities bond passed at 60.6 percent. Thank you, voters!

Click here to read a bond election update and 2022-2023 budget plan input opportunity message from Superintendent Greg Baker sent to staff, families and community.


About

Thanks to past community support, Bellingham Public Schools has many outstanding school facilities, including our newest rebuilds of Alderwood and Parkview elementary schools that opened in September 2021 and of Sehome High School that opened in February 2019.

The $122 million 2022 bond is the next step in our long-range plans to improve and rebuild schools and facilities for our students, staff and community. We believe our community deserves safe, functional and efficient learning environments. We balance that belief by being good stewards of our public assets and developing strategic plans to improve our schools today and into the future based on the highest needs.


Why is the bond needed?

In fall 2021, Bellingham Public Schools convened a Facilities Planning Task Force representing staff, students, parents and community members from across our school district. The task force met regularly throughout the fall to continue the important work of identifying buildings with the highest need for replacement, as well as reviewing projected growth in our district boundaries. Task force meeting minutes, presentations and data, as
well as full details of the recommendation are posted on the Facilities Planning Task Force webpage.

Bellingham Public Schools will have a bond on the upcoming special election on Feb. 8, 2022 to address five areas of investment.

  1. Community Transitions (CT):  Buy property, design and build a new facility for Community Transitions (CT) and maximize flexibility/opportunity for possible use by other district programs. CT is a program for students receiving Special Education services through the age of 21.
    Watch video:
    visual of entrance to Community Transitions with video arrow

2. New Elementary School: Build a 15th elementary school on the district-owned King Mountain property on the northside of town where growth is occurring. This space would be a significant step in developing a higher sustainability standard for our schools and initially used as a temporary swing space for students as other schools are rebuilt. (See next area of investment.)

3. Carl Cozier, Columbia and Roosevelt Redesigns: Begin the design for the replacement of these three current elementary schools and set the stage for a future bond to fund their construction.
Watch video:
graphic of carl cozier, columbia and roosevelt collage with video arrow

4. Current Projects: Support completion of previously-approved bond projects in response to refinements and increased construction costs including:

  • Sunnyland Elementary School
  • Gordon Carter environmental education site
  • District Office
  • Bellingham and Squalicum High fields

5. Safety, Sustainability and Accessibility: Invest in improvements at numerous schools that include:

  • Adding inclusive playgrounds and play fields
  • Expanding Kulshan Middle School by four additional classrooms and replacing existing grass field with turf
  • Improving Cordata Elementary School traffic and parking
  • Increasing resource efficiency and minimize the effects of energy and water consumption and dependence on fossil fuels
  • Implementing more visible and meaningful sustainability practices in schools to increase educational stewardship

Watch video:

school construction site aerial with crane, building in progress, play head icon

View All Safety, Sustainability and Accessibility Projects

District Wide 

  • Parking lot sealing
  • Future sustainability initiatives, including wetland mitigation, native plant and habitat restoration, climate benchmarking, energy efficient upgrades, lighting and more to be determined at a later date
  • Elementary Play Field improvements

Bellingham High School 

  • Bleacher replacements

Carl Cozier Elementary School

  • Exterior painting

Cordata Elementary School

  • Improved parking
  • Exterior painting

Fairhaven Middle School

  • Re-roof

Geneva Elementary School

  • Portable A&B roof
  • Exterior wall panel abatement & replacement
  • Exterior painting
  • Inclusive play structure
  • North parking asphalt overlay
  • HVAC system

Kulshan Middle School

  • 4 classroom addition
  • Exterior gym painting
  • Water heaters
  • New turf field

Lowell Elementary School

  • Site accessibility study for future improvements

Northern Heights Elementary School

  • Exterior painting
  • Portable roof
  • Inclusive play structure

Silver Beach Elementary School

  • Hall flooring
  • Annex roofing and paint
  • Inclusive play structure

Shuksan Middle School

  • Programable room controls

Squalicum High School

  • ADA path from parking lot to fields
  • Replace back sidewalk

Transportation

  • Wash out area
  • Metal roof on bus parking shed

Wade King Elementary School

  • Thermostat and damper controls
  • Inclusive play structure

Whatcom Middle School

  • Shop HVAC
  • Replace windows in gym 3
  • Battersby restroom remodel

What is the impact?

If voters approve this bond, the rate per $1,000 assessed value will go from $3.47 in 2022 to $3.72 in 2023 and 2024. This means the combined tax rate for schools (levies and bonds) will increase by an estimated $16.90 per month in 2023 (compared with 2022) for a median homeowner* in Bellingham.

* We are using an estimated median assessed home value of $550,000 for 2022 and $566,500 for 2023. Your home’s assessed value is determined by the county.

Past/Current Bond and Levy Rate

  • 2018 Actual – $4.54
  • 2019 Actual – $3.57
  • 2020 – $3.61
  • 2021 – $3.48

Projected Bond and Levy Rate (approx.) **

  • 2022 – $3.47
  • 2023 – $3.72
  • 2024 – $3.72

** Estimated total school district combined bond and levy rate per $1000 assessed value. The rates are estimates based upon preliminary data from the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office, official data will be available in January 2022.

Watch bond overview and financial impact video:

Video preview image thumbnail with students playing on playground, play head button


How can I vote?

Voters within Bellingham Public Schools’ attendance area will receive a ballot in the mail in January 2022 to vote on this school bond. Ballots must be mailed and postmarked or returned to the drop-box at the Whatcom County Courthouse South Parking lot, 201 Grand Avenue by 8 p.m. Feb. 8, 2022.