While the vote count for the Feb. 14 special election is unofficial, it appears the Dieringer School District’s $9.5 million bond measure has been strongly approved by voters.
As of last Wednesday, 2,219 voters (or 80.6 percent) approved of the bond, easily surpassing the required supermajority. 534 voters (19.4 percent) did not approve the bond.
“Were really excited that it passed,” said Superintendent Judy Martinson, calling the 80 percent approval rating “unheard of.”
“It’s really gratifying for the community,” she continued.
The bond measure will increase property taxes in the area by $0.23 per $1,000 in assessed value.
That’s roughly $9.58 per month for a $500,000 home.
The $9.5 million bond will be divvied up three ways – $2 million is heading to Lake Tapps Elementary for three new classrooms, a new security door, upgrades to the heating, ventilation and cooling system (HVAC) and a new splash of paint; $1.3 million is going to Dieringer Heights Elementary and Lake Tapps Middle school to also install new security doors and replace the HVAC system; and $6.2 million is heading over to the Sumner School District for the Bonney Lake and Sumner high school remodels.
Dieringer is a kindergarten through eighth grade district, which means its students are sent to other district’s high schools when the graduate.
Because more than 68 percent of Dieringer graduates head to the Sumner School District, Dieringer is required by law to participate in Sumner’s capital bonds, said Martinson.
When Sumner School District voters approved a $164 million bond measure last year, that meant Dieringer became responsible for providing some money for Sumner’s high school remodels.
Boiled down, the Sumner School District plans to spend approximately $62 million of the $164 million bond on the Bonney Lake and Sumner high schools.
Dieringer’s portion of that $62 million is 10 percent, or $6.2 million, because Dieringer students make up about 10 percent of the student population at those high schools, said Martinson.
The Dieringer School District is not responsible for helping Sumner renovate its elementary or middle schools, she continued.
While construction on the high schools has not yet been scheduled, Martinson said Dieringer students and families can expect construction on the three new classrooms at Lake Tapps Elementary to begin in March.
Students will be moved into portables during this time.