School board puts forth $40 million project bond
The Blaine school board has decided to wait on building a new elementary school in Birch Bay but will proceed with a $40 million capital projects bond that will be presented to voters in March.
The bond includes land acquisition for the proposed new school but not for the school itself.
Superintendent Ron Spanjer said the funding, also known as a maintenance and operations levy, is not a new tax but replaces a current levy that expires in 2008. If successful the March levy will continue funding through 2012.
Three-quarters of the bond will go for renovations at Blaine high school, which with 750 students, is 36 percent over its design capacity of 550 students. Because of this some programs are housed in the middle school. It would also fund an upgrading of the bus parking and maintenance facility and improvements to the stadium and Pipeline fields.
State funding only provides about two-thirds of the money needed to run the district.
Previous bond issues have raised $15 million in 1992 to build primary school facilities at Point Roberts and Blaine, and $19 million in 2001 to expand classrooms.
Blaine school district currently has the lowest capital project tax rate of the seven districts in Whatcom County at .83 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Nooksack Valley is highest at $2.68 per thousand.