With an Aug. 1 deadline approaching, the Pasco school board meets Tuesday to continue talking about a potential bond measure.
A board retreat starts at 5:30 p.m. at the district’s offices at 1215 W. Lewis St.
The board is grappling with a $104 million proposal that came from a group of community members. It includes building two new elementary schools, a new middle school and rebuilding Stevens Middle School.
The estimated cost to property owners could be 69 cents per $1,000 of assessed value if it’s approved.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
The district’s population expanded from 12,306 students in 2007 to 17,362 in last year, according to a report from MGT Consulting Group.
Most of the growth has been in the kindergarten through sixth grade, where the population grew from 7,056 students to 10,087.
The district began work on possible November bond after a $69.5 million proposal failed in February.
Officials hired the consultant working on a long-term facilities plan to start work on a new bond measure. As part of the process the company recruited a group of community members, called the Community Builders group, and held three forums to gather feedback.
I have grave concerns that we’re going too fast. The risk is that we fail another bond, and we’re another year or two behind.
Nathan Grimm, Community Builders member
To put the measure in front of voters in November, the school board needs to approve the resolution before the end of July.
The retreat will give the board a chance to discuss the proposal and direct district staff, said Superintendent Michelle Whitney.
Many options remain, including sending the proposal back to the Community Builders group for more discussion.
Board member Amy Phillips said at a recent meeting she is still collecting information. “I’m really looking forward to the retreat, so we can discuss this,” she said.
Nathan Grimm, a member of the Community Builders group, said he remains concerned about the process.
“I have a viewpoint that’s mine,” he said. “Our group did not come to a recommendation. We were presented two options from the district’s consultant.”
Neither of the options included taking more time to study and discuss the situation.
“I have grave concerns that we’re going too fast,” he said. “The risk is that we fail another bond, and we’re another year or two behind.”