Point Roberts residents discuss proposed school bond

School meeting

Blaine High School student Alexandra Szabo shares some of the challenges of learning in the current high school, and why local students need voter support to fix the aging and poorly designed building.

 

By Meg Olson

Hoping to educate Point Roberts residents on an upcoming $45 million school construction bond, parents, students and teachers got together at the local primary school.

Many Point Roberts residents and several school district administrators attended the January 6 Blaine school district reunion to talk about how approval of the bond will help Point Roberts families.

The bulk of the bond funds will be used to update Blaine High School, built in 1971, to address a growing list of student safety and welfare needs. Students Veronica Hughes, Grace Wilkowski and Alexandra Szabo laughed about how they dodge waterfalls from roofs as they run between classes in the modular school. The ailing heating and ventilation system means some classrooms are frigid while others are too hot. The school also lacks a cafeteria, so high school students eat lunch in the middle school, and even that is insufficient to accommodate all of them.

“For all these kids here in Point Roberts, what this bond means is the opportunity to go to a modern high school that really meets their needs today,” said Point Roberts Primary School teacher Mary Edgley. If the bond passes, Edgley said, “When our kids leave here in third grade they will be going to an elementary school with a real cafeteria.”

The Point Roberts Primary School hasn’t been left out of the planned improvements. A new roof and permanent rubber flooring for the covered play shed are on the list.

“With a concrete floor, when the kids go down they go down hard,” Edgley said. “This will provide a durable, safe solution.” She added that new equipment for the primary school playground is also planned, which will be available to all the children on the Point.

The bond, if approved, would replace bonds that will be paid off in 2016, and bond funds will be acquired in phases, so school officials are predicting it will not raise taxes. “They might actually drop a bit,” Edgley said.

For approval, the bond requires the approval of 60 percent of voters to pass. Ballots will be in the mail Friday, January 23 and need to be returned by Tuesday, February 10.

  1. A very important point is that the rate of current taxation will not change (much) if we all VOTE YES to this bond. The old bond is expiring and this new tax will simply take its place – and in return we will then have a new High School, a new all day Kindergarten classroom, improvements to a wing of classrooms at the Elementary School, and some fabulous improvements to our local primary campus. I liked when Superintendent Ron Spanjer said that Point Roberts Primary School is a valuable asset to this community and we really want to protect it for years to come with a new roof and some other helpful improvements. We can do this!

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