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Richland School District Bond Issue 2013

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Published on Jan 10, 2013

The Richland School Board has approved a resolution which will place a revised $98 million bond issue before Richland School District voters on February 12, 2013. The bond issue addresses nine specific facility improvement projects:

Replace Lewis & Clark Elementary School
Replace Marcus Whitman Elementary School
Replace Sacajawea Elementary School
Build a New Elementary School in the south/west area
Build a New Middle School in the south/west area
Provide educational space for HomeLink at a site to be determined
Retain Jefferson Elementary as a K-5 school; remove the 1953 wing and provide adequate space to serve the current K-5 enrollment
Replace the HVAC system at Chief Joseph Middle School
Make safety improvements at Fran Rish Stadium
The estimated total project cost is $130 million. The District expects to receive $32 million in state assistance funds which means that $98 million must come from local taxpayers.

Lewis & Clark, Marcus, and Sacajawea were built in 1971. Continued population growth in the south and west areas of the District requires more schools to be built there. The Jefferson wing is 60 years old and does not meet the needs of 21st century learners. The growing HomeLink program housed at Southside Church needs more space. The current Chief Joseph HVAC system is inefficient and cannot be repaired.

"We've studied these projects and analyzed potential costs for months and received excellent input from the community," stated Rick Jansons, President of the Richland School Board. "We've done some cutting in order to minimize the impact to local taxpayers. Our financing plan keeps the tax rate as low as possible."

The Richland School District's current bond tax rate is $1.21 per $1000 of assessed valuation. If voters approve the bond issue, the estimated tax rate would increase 34 cents to $1.55 in 2014. Yearly property taxes would increase $68 on a $200,000 home. The rate would decrease to $1.19 in 2023. This bond debt would be retired in 15 years in the year 2029.

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