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BISD School Board Approves a Capital Levy Measure for the February 2019 Election

 At its School Board Meeting on October 25, 2018, Bainbridge Island School District Board of Directors (Mev Hoberg, Sheila Jakubik, Lynn Smith and Mike Spence) voted unanimously to place a $15 million capital levy on the February 12, 2019 ballot.

The $15 million will provide funding for the completion of the construction project at Bainbridge High School, including transforming the school's current commons into an auditorium. (This project is mostly funded from the 2016 Bond.) Additionally, the levy will provide funding for repairs and renovations, including security upgrades. 

In 2016, voters approved an $81.2 million bond to:

  • Replace Blakely Elementary
  • Replace the 100 Building at Bainbridge High School (including its auditorium space)
  • Provide funding for essential renovation district-wide

Since the time of the 2016 bond’s approval, the greater Seattle region has experienced a construction boom which has resulted in increased prices for labor and materials. This escalation, coupled with state funding that didn’t fully materialize and new building codes, have resulted in a funding shortfall for BISD projects identified in the 2016 Bond.

At its October 11, 2018, School Board Meeting, the board was presented with a recommendation from the Superintendent’s Advisory Workgroup (SAW). SAW worked through the summer analyzing BISD’s construction funding shortfall, evaluating possible solutions, factoring in public opinion and finally, developing a recommendation. SAW recommended that $15 million would provide sufficient funding to cover the 100 Building at BHS, as well as provide funding for essential renovations district-wide through 2025.

BISD isn’t the only school district facing a construction funding shortfall. In February 2018 Bellingham Public Schools went to the voters for a $155 million bond, of which $19.5 million was to complete bond projects already funded by voters. (Voters overwhelmingly supported Bellingham Public Schools’ bond request.)

At its October 25, 2018, School Board Meeting, the board also approved the schematic design for the 100 Building at BHS. The new design helps enhance security by consolidating the campus. Construction for the new Blakely Elementary began last spring and the new building is slated to open in the fall of 2019.

“Our public schools are the heart of our community,” said Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen. “By investing in our school infrastructure, we will continue to provide an optimal education for students now and in the future.”

If approved, the levy will cost homeowners $0.30 per thousand assessed value, about $198 per year for six years for the average Bainbridge Island home (which is assessed for $660,520).