YEAR IN REVIEW; Future of MLSD still uncertain

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MOSES LAKE — Last February, Moses Lake School District voters cast ballots for a $135.3 million bond to build the district a second high school and 11th elementary school as well as for renovations to the existing high school.

The goal was to deal with current overcrowding, with a high school beginning to show its age, and with a likely coming wave of high school students currently reflected in growing grade school enrollments.

That bond passed, but just barely, with 60.03 percent approval. A group of district voters demanded a recount, and then sued Grant County Auditor Michelle Jagerlund, claiming she failed to follow the law when tabulating ballots.

In late March, Grant County Superior Court Judge John Antosz ruled in favor of Jagerlund, saying the auditor was in “substantial compliance” with state election laws.

Those voters appealed, and their petition to have the results of the February bond election thrown out is still sitting before the Third District Appellate Court in Spokane.

As the school district went ahead with designs for two new schools, two incumbent members up for re-election in November, Board President Kevin Donovan and Oscar Ochoa, were replaced by challengers Elliott Goodrich and Vickey Melcher, both opposed to the construction of a new high school.

So now, as 2018 arrives, a new school board considers the district’s options while waiting for a panel of judges to rule on the fate of the $135.3 million bond that voters approved last February.

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