Frequently Asked Questions

 What is a school bond?
A:
A bond provides immediate funds for large long-term capital projects such as modernization of buildings, new school construction or acquisition of property. A bond is financed over a long period of time, generally 12 to 30 years, and is comparable to your home mortgage.
 
Q: Why does our school district need a school bond now?
A:
Voters last approved a bond measure in 1998, and the district completed all of those projects on time and within the budget. Since then, proposed bond measures in 2008 failed.

As a result, the School Board of Directors created a long-range facility planning committee comprised of parents, staff, students, and non-parent adults from the community. The committee -- called "FPS 2030" -- began meeting in 2010. In 2011, FPS 2030 made a recommendation to the School Board to place a 5-year capital levy on the 2012 ballot to address overcrowding at the middle school cafeterias, learning walls in classrooms across the district, and replace the most worn out air handling systems in the district. The capital levy was approved by voters. It will expire in 2017.
 
However, the capital levy was never intended to address the longer-term, most-pressing facility needs in the district. The FPS 2030 committee reconvened in the 2014-2015 school year to come up with a bond recommendation for the School Board.
 
At their March 8, 2016 regular meeting, the School Board unanimously voted to adopt a bond resolution that is consistent with the recommendations of the FPS 2030 committee.
Q: What are the projects designated for in the 2016 school bond measure?
A:
 

The bond would fund the following projects:

- Security upgrades at ALL SCHOOLS
- Replace Brookdale Elementary School
- Replace Central Avenue Elementary School
- Replace Collins Elementary School
- Replace Harvard Elementary School
- Replace James Sales Elementary School
- Replace Ford Middle School Gymnasium
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) labs at Washington High School
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) labs at Franklin Pierce High School
- Construct a 500-seat performing arts center at Franklin Pierce High School
- Grandstand and concession improvements at District Stadium
- New playground at Christensen Elementary School
- New playground at Elmhurst Elementary School
- Construct covered area at Elmhurst Elementary School
- Construct covered area at Midland Elementary School
- Construct covered area at GATES High School
- Exterior renovation and infrastructure upgrades at Christensen Elementary School
- ALL SCHOOLS will have digital readerboards

  
Q: How did the school district determine which schools to propose for replacement in the bond issue?
A:
The district's Support Services Department maintains an ongoing program of assessment of district facilities. In addition, as technology and educational programs evolve, the facilities demand change. The proposed replacement schools were recommended to the School Board by the FPS 2030 committee due to a variety of factors, including:

- Condition of the school
- Safety
- Needs of the educational program

Q: How much will this bond measure cost taxpayers?
A. If approved in November 2016, the bond measure would cost an estimated $2.82 per thousand dollars of assessed property per year. However, THIS BOND WILL NOT INCREASE TAXES. The bond would not be a tax increased compared to any year since 2013 because two prior voter-approved measures (the 20-year 1998 bond and the 5-year 2012 capital levy) will expire at the time the 2016 bond takes effect.

For More Information...
Q: How can I request a speaker from the school district for my community group or organization to learn more about the proposed school bond?
A: To request a speaker about the 2016 school bond measure contact the district Public Information Office at 253-298-3087.
 
Q: How can I learn more?
A: Additional information about the 2016 school bond measure can be found on the district Web site on the Bond Information Web page. You can also call the Public Information Office at 253-298-3087.