School board president answers bond questions

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Kevin Donovan

I proudly serve as president of the Moses Lake School Board of Directors. As five volunteers elected to serve as board members we are leaders and champions for public education in the Moses Lake community. Now, more than ever, I encourage you to involve yourself in the education of our community’s future. Please take the time to learn more about the Feb. 14 bond election and vote in support of the students of our community for years to come.

As a school board in 2012 and 2015 we have brought before our community bond initiatives that did not quite reach the votes needed to pass. The Moses Lake community told us that the time was not right to support these projects. In both elections the majority of our community was in support as 50.5 percent (2012) and 54.45 percent (2015) of voters supported those bonds. Even though the majority of our community was in support, state law requires the supermajority of 60 percent for approval.

As election day draws near and ballots start to arrive in the mail I would like to provide answers to a few questions that continue to be asked across the community.

Why these projects?

Through a series of Community Symposiums held last spring, as a board, we listened to feedback from the community on what the right answers were for the future of our school facilities. There was overwhelming feedback that the construction of a second high-school and a new elementary school were the right answers. Additionally, we heard loudly that we must also make improvements to the current high school campus. We carefully evaluated several bond options, factored the cost of investment, and have now put this package together for your approval. The bond projects included are the construction of a new 1,600-student high school, construction of a new 450-student elementary school, and renovations to Moses Lake High School.

Why now?

Simply stated – there is no better time than now. As a community we continue to see an increase of young families, those with school-aged children. To illustrate this our current senior class has 587 students, whereas our current sixth-grade class has 666 students, our current third-grade class has 716 students, and this fall we welcomed 721 kindergartners. The students who currently attend school within our district illustrate that growth continues to occur, and our current days of overcrowding only get more complex in the years to come. We also know that construction costs continue to rise and future decreases are unlikely with the improving economy. I will answer the question of ‘why now?’ with a follow up question – if not now, then when?

Over the coming weeks we continue to host a series of Community Bond Information Nights and opportunities to learn more about this bond election and the important decision facing our community. Please join us and learn more. The Moses Lake School District website at www.moseslakeschools.org has an entire section of information dedicated to answering questions and informing every member of our amazing community. Please take a few minutes to learn more, ask questions, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.

As champions for public education we boldly ask for your support of our community’s children and future. At some point in history previous voters approved schools and invested in you. In those schools you learned, developed, and grew. I believe that we collectively share in the responsibility to do the same for the next generation.

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