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High School improvements bond falls short
High School improvements bond falls short
Posted on 11/06/2019
bond graphicThe school district’s proposed High School Facility Improvements Bond for Safety, Security, and Growth fell short of the required 60 percent supermajority of yes votes needed to pass the measure, according to unofficial results of the November 5, 2019 General Election.

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office reported on election night that the bond received 51.18 percent (8,888 yes votes) compared to 48.82 percent (8,477 no votes.)

Early results indicate the bond measure fell short of the state-required 60 percent supermajority of yes votes.

State law requires that voter turnout be at least 40 percent of the previous general election and that 60 percent of those voting support the measure for it to be successful. In Puyallup, there needed to be 20,932 people voting with 12,560 of them voting yes for the school bond to pass.

“Although disappointed in the recent vote and results on the district's bond measure, we do recognize that ballot measures have many variables that our community looks at when deciding how they choose to vote,” said School Board President Chris Ihrig. “I am confident that the school board will evaluate the growing pressures around safety, security, and growth and decide the next steps while working closely with members of our community to come to an acceptable set of solutions."
Voters last approved a school bond in 2015. The $292.5 million bond replaced Firgrove, Northwood, and Sunrise elementary schools with larger elementary schools, and funded a new school, Dessie Evans Elementary. The 2015 bond funded a 12 classroom addition at Hunt Elementary, and allows for remodeling and expanding Pope Elementary which will re-open in September 2020.

This year’s bond proposed improvements at each of the district’s four high school campuses and included the following capital improvements:

Puyallup High School
• Safety and security focus
• Consolidate campus to “one building”
• Add capacity to accommodate 2,000 students
• Added parking and vehicular access
• Improve health fitness/athletic facilities
• Program improvements: CTE, Special Education, Science
• New library, expanded commons, expanded admin and student services
• New main gym, auxiliary gym, weight room, locker rooms

Rogers High School
• Safety and security focus
• Connect the existing buildings and provide new fencing at the main entry and campus
perimeter that encloses exterior circulation
• 13 new general education classrooms
• New Special Education facilities, science labs, nursing and photography
• Added storage and seating capacity to the auditorium
• Expanding the existing physical education facilities with the addition of an auxiliary gym,
weight room, restrooms, and 6 new tennis courts

Emerald Ridge High School
• Safety and security (one building)
• 15 general classrooms
• 2 science rooms
• Expand the commons
• Digital Media Center (new library)
• Conference rooms, storage, restrooms, and support spaces as part of the classroom
• Auxiliary gym, weight room, gymnastics facility
• 2 new tennis courts

Walker High School
• New addition: 12,500 SF
• New science lab, library space, art room remodel
• Addition includes commons/cafeteria
• New entrance vestibule, video buzz-in system
• CTE spaces, photo lab, espresso student store, health/fitness facility
• Health fitness covered structure