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CSD Board Approves Bond Resolution for February 2017 Ballot

The Centralia School District Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution to place a $74 million bond on the February 14, 2017 ballot.  If approved, the bond will pay for:

   -  Construction of a “like-new” Centralia High School to eliminate portable classrooms and bring the facility up to current educational standards.
   -  Two new K-6 elementary schools to replace Jefferson Lincoln and Fords Prairie schools. In a state study, Jefferson Lincoln was found to be “unsatisfactory” for its current use. This is the lowest rating. Fords Prairie was found to be in “poor” functional condition. The new schools will be designed to house 525 students each, allowing the district to ease overcrowding at all of Centralia’s elementary schools.  Both Jefferson Lincoln and Fords Prairie will be constructed with separate gymnasium and multipurpose room facilities.
   -  Safety and security upgrades throughout the district at selected facilities.

If the bond is approved locally, it is anticipated the state will provide an additional $27 million in funding assistance.  The district estimates that property tax impact will be around $2.12 per $1,000 in assessed value in 2018.

“This proposal is the result of a lot of hard work by our Facilities Master Planning Committee, by our district staff, and by our board,” said Superintendent Mark Davalos. “We have collected a lot of information over the past 6 months and have put together a plan that addresses our most urgent facilities needs,” he added.

Davalos said that through the work of the facilities committee, survey feedback and a series of meetings with community members, organizations, parents and staff, the highest project priorities were identified and recommended. “People expressed serious concerns about the condition of our aging schools and the need for safety and security upgrades,” said Davalos. “I’m confident this plan represents our community’s vision for improving our schools.

In the coming weeks, Davalos will be presenting detailed information at community and school meetings. “I know the power of the Centralia community – everyone jumps in to help when we have a need. Now, our schools need our help,” he said. The last school construction bond passed by voters in Centralia was in 1986. That measure financed the modernization of both Centralia Middle School and Edison Elementary.  The average age of schools in Centralia is 69 years old. Centralia High School was built in 1968, Fords Prairie in 1947, and Jefferson Lincoln in 1957 with an addition in 1977.

Ballots for the February 14th election will arrive in mailboxes by January 27th. They must be postmarked by February 14th or be dropped in a ballot box by 8 p.m. that evening in order to be counted. A 60 percent super majority is required for school construction bonds to be approved.