Bond issue to address school facility needs placed on April 26, 2016 special election ballot

    The Marysville School Board has voted to place a bond measure on the April 26, 2016 special election ballot to replace four existing school buildings and construct a new middle school in the Marysville School District. This vote follows a recommendation from the community-led Citizens Advisory Committee who began meeting last April to discuss facility needs for the district’s schools.

    The board members voted unanimously to support an option that includes replacement of Cascade Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Marysville Middle School, and the modernization/replacement of Marysville-Pilchuck High School. In addition, a fifth middle school would be constructed on land in the northern portion of the district.

    The Board’s decision follows the 10-month study of facility needs by the Citizens Advisory Committee who toured schools and studied facility needs, and an online community Thoughtexchange process, where nearly 1,100 parents, community members, and staff participated. Both the committee and the Thoughtexchange participants were strongly in favor of new facilities. The survey results were shared with the committee and are posted at msvl.thoughtexchange.com.

    “This proposal is truly visionary, not just for replacement buildings. We would be building for future generations of Marysville School District students and their families,” said Marysville School District Superintendent Becky Berg.

    Totem Middle School was built in 1950, Liberty Elementary in 1951, Cascade Elementary in 1955, Marysville Middle School in 1960 and Marysville-Pilchuck High School in 1970. All five of these buildings are considered substandard and no longer functional learning spaces for students. These schools use 23 portables for classroom use.

    Classrooms would be replaced at Marysville-Pilchuck, while the existing auditorium, gymnasium and pool would be modernized. The school’s cafeteria will be replaced in the coming year with construction beginning later this spring. Funding for the project is being provided by special funding from the state.

    The Board’s approved option aligns with and supports the committee’s guidelines to keep the cost to local taxpayers below $1.29 per thousand of assessed value, keep all projects recommended, and to have a set aside for major projects. The estimated cost to taxpayers would be an additional $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of a home valued at $210,000* would pay an additional $263 per year.

    The Citizens Advisory Committee, made up of nearly 40 members from throughout the community, met regularly with an outside facilitator. They were unanimous in their praise of the open, transparent process that led to their decision

    The bond measure as approved by the Board would be $230 million, with the district expected to receive an additional $62.4 million in state construction assistance matching funds if approved by voters. Ballots will be mailed to voters April 8. To register to vote online, visit vote.wa.gov.

    *Marysville 2015 Average Residence Value; Snohomish County