Nation/World

Updated School, New Computers Atop Wish List School District 81 Hopes To Sell $67 Million Bond Issue To Taxpayers

FROM FOR THE RECORD (Wednesday, April 16, 1997): Correction Proposed costs for upgrading computer technology in Spokane District 81 schools range from $989,000 for Ferris High School to $96,000 for Wilson Elementary School. Several portable classrooms would cost $800,000. A story in Tuesday’s Spokesman-Review about a proposed $67 million school bond issue inclueded some incorrect figures.

More classrooms, bigger schools and better computer systems are among the enticements Spokane School District 81 administrators hope will convince taxpayers to approve a $67 million bond issue next year.

Plans to renovate 86-year-old Lewis and Clark High School and put new computers in all Spokane schools top the proposals to be presented at five public forums in the next two weeks.

The first is at 7 p.m. tonight in the Rogers High School cafeteria.

“We think it’s fair to taxpayers,” said Superintendent Gary Livingston, who described much of the proposal as routine maintenance. “If you don’t do that, your projects build to the point you can’t afford it.”

One of the most expensive projects, at about $25 million, is a technology upgrade to get state-of-the-art computers in every school.

Schools are drafting plans for how they’d spend the money, which ranges from $27 million for Lewis and Clark High to $96,000 for Wilson Elementary School.

“This is a good start,” said Joe Austin, technology services director. “We’re playing catch-up at this point.”

Spokane voters defeated a $30 million computer levy in 1994, but Livingston blames that loss on too many unanswered questions.

This time, more details are available. The project is also tucked among 14 others that affect dozens of schools and include everything from portable classrooms to expanded libraries to modernized science rooms.

“One school of thought is you put a lot of things in” to capture voters who favor at least part of the project, said Lorraine Wilson, assistant executive director of the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

School districts throughout the state are finding it’s taking more work to get bonds passed, she said.

“What we’re running into is about 70 percent of voters are likely not to have any children in school,” Wilson said. “So they don’t have that immediate interest in the schools.”

Many districts put bonds before voters several times before they’re approved, she said.

Voters would likely see this bond on the ballot next February or March.

As drafted, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $45 per year in additional property taxes. The new debt would be paid off by 2008.

The most expensive proposal is Lewis and Clark High’s $42 million renovation. The state would cover $15 million of the total cost, and another $9 million would come from money the district already has.

“I hope everyone around town will see LC is in dire a need of attention as we think it is,” said Steve McNutt, a Spokane architect who led the committee recommending the renovation.

The proposal would preserve many of the qualities that make the school special, said McNutt.

“It would keep the old corridor system and the terrazzo floors and the traditional high ceilings in the classrooms,” he said.

Browne Elementary School, 5314 N. Driscoll, is slated for replacement under the plan, while North Central and Rogers high schools would get major renovation.

Roger Lake, principal at Browne, listed a leaky roof, a playground that won’t drain and a small gymnasium among the school’s many problems.

“There’s no place for parents to sit,” he said. “We play basketball there and kids are running into the wall.”

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PUBLIC FORUMS Five public forums on the school-impovement plan will be held at 7 p.m. at these locations: Tonight: Rogers High School cafeteria. Tuesday, April 22: Shadle Park High School cafeteria. Thursday, April 24: Lewis and Clark High School auditorium. Tuesday, April 29: Ferris High School cafeteria. Thursday, May 1: North Central High School cafeteria.

The Spokane School District’s proposed $67 million bond measure would do the following: Renovate Lewis and Clark High School - $27 million, plus $15 million in state matching money. Improve computer technology in all schools - $13.3 million. Upgrade electrical systems for new technology - $11.3 million. Modernize Rogers High School, including new locker rooms and gymnasium, and remodeled auditorium and offices - $5.95 million Add to North Central High School, including new classrooms and girls locker room - $3.15 million. Add to Browne Elementary School - $4.5 million, plus $2 million in state money. Modernize science rooms at Ferris, North Central, Rogers and Shadle Park high schools - $1.5 million. Garry Middle School physical education addition, and heating and ventilation improvements - $2.5 million. Remodel libraries at Madison, Pratt and Wilson elementary schools - $600,000. Remodel modular classroom at Wilson Elementary School - $300,000. Expansion and improvements at Adams and Indian Trail elementary schools - $400,000. Improve auditoriums at Ferris and Shadle Park - $200,000. Upgrade telephone and intercom systems at all schools - $3 million. Add classrooms to Arlington, Audubon, Bemiss, Cooper, Finch, Garfield, Grant, Holmes, Hutton, Jefferson, Longfellow, Regal, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Whitman, Willard and Woodridge elementary schools - $500,000. Seven or eight portable classrooms for Grant Elementary and other schools - $8 million.

This sidebar appeared with the story: PUBLIC FORUMS Five public forums on the school-impovement plan will be held at 7 p.m. at these locations: Tonight: Rogers High School cafeteria. Tuesday, April 22: Shadle Park High School cafeteria. Thursday, April 24: Lewis and Clark High School auditorium. Tuesday, April 29: Ferris High School cafeteria. Thursday, May 1: North Central High School cafeteria.

The Spokane School District’s proposed $67 million bond measure would do the following: Renovate Lewis and Clark High School - $27 million, plus $15 million in state matching money. Improve computer technology in all schools - $13.3 million. Upgrade electrical systems for new technology - $11.3 million. Modernize Rogers High School, including new locker rooms and gymnasium, and remodeled auditorium and offices - $5.95 million Add to North Central High School, including new classrooms and girls locker room - $3.15 million. Add to Browne Elementary School - $4.5 million, plus $2 million in state money. Modernize science rooms at Ferris, North Central, Rogers and Shadle Park high schools - $1.5 million. Garry Middle School physical education addition, and heating and ventilation improvements - $2.5 million. Remodel libraries at Madison, Pratt and Wilson elementary schools - $600,000. Remodel modular classroom at Wilson Elementary School - $300,000. Expansion and improvements at Adams and Indian Trail elementary schools - $400,000. Improve auditoriums at Ferris and Shadle Park - $200,000. Upgrade telephone and intercom systems at all schools - $3 million. Add classrooms to Arlington, Audubon, Bemiss, Cooper, Finch, Garfield, Grant, Holmes, Hutton, Jefferson, Longfellow, Regal, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Whitman, Willard and Woodridge elementary schools - $500,000. Seven or eight portable classrooms for Grant Elementary and other schools - $8 million.



Click here to comment on this story »




Blogs




A killer day of fly fishing

FLY FISHING -- Indeed, the fishing was excellent today at Cutthroat Creek, at least for a few hours. The March Brown hatch was booming at noon. Elk were along the ...






Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile