King County logo
Tahoma School District No. 409

Proposition No. 1
General Obligation Bonds - $125,000,000

The Board of Directors of Tahoma School District No. 409 adopted Resolution No. 2011-1 concerning this proposition for bonds. The proposition authorizes the District to construct a new elementary school, replace Lake Wilderness Elementary, renovate and expand Tahoma Junior High and Tahoma High School, and make certain capital improvements to other facilities of the District to issue $125,000,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within a maximum of 20 years; and collect excess property taxes annually to repay the bonds, as provided in Resolution No. 2011-1. Should this proposition be:



Tahoma School Board has authorized a $125 million bond measure request on April 26, 2011. The bond measure is designed to build more classroom space to accommodate current and future students. It also will pay for major maintenance projects. The bonds would be repaid by school district taxpayers over 20 years. The cost is estimated at $1.41 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. Approval of the bond measure provides funds for the following: Construction of two elementary schools (an additional school and a new Lake Wilderness Elementary); classroom additions and interior alterations at Tahoma High School and Tahoma Junior High School; an auditorium at Tahoma High School; replacement of deteriorating siding at Cedar River Middle School, Glacier Park Elementary, Rock Creek Elementary and Central Services Center; replacement of the roof at Rock Creek Elementary and Central Services; upgrades to heating and ventilating systems at Rock Creek Elementary, Glacier Park Elementary, Cedar River Middle School and Central Services; replacement of gymnasium floors at Rock Creek Elementary, Glacier Park Elementary and Shadow Lake Elementary; and elimination of most portable classroom buildings as a result of building permanent classrooms. Passage of the bond measure makes the school district eligible for $25.6 million in matching construction funds from the state. The award of those funds will be delayed by the state’s budget crisis but when those funds become available there are several additional projects that will be completed. A full description can be seen on the Tahoma Web page:

Vote Yes. Our schools are full, and more kids are coming.

This issue affects all property owners – not just parents. Countless families say they moved to the Tahoma School District for one simple reason: a nationally recognized education. The district’s reputation keeps property values strong.

Property values will suffer as word spreads that our schools are overcrowded and decrepit. Nearly all are at or near capacity due to our unprecedented growth. Our junior high, for example, is already stuffed 200 students beyond its intended capacity. Stages, cafeterias and even closets are used for teaching. One quarter of district students spend part of their day in aging portables (some purchased used from Kent schools for $1 -- 20 years ago).

These conditions will only get worse. In the next 10 years, 1,700 new students will arrive. The district has nowhere to put them. Class sizes are projected to increase significantly; the district will be forced to cut critical course offerings.

Sensitive to trying times, district officials pinched every penny to maximize the money from the previous bond, designed to fund improvements through 2005. Six years later, we must reinvest in our buildings.

Vote yes for our community’s future. This cannot wait.

The Tahoma School District ranks 5 out of 216 districts, scoring 5 stars out of 5.

The community is proud of the school district and is very supportive. We love our kids. We care about their future. It is bright and it will still be bright if the levy fails.

This time around we need to think about all of the community. The State of Washington ranks 29 out of 50 states with an unemployment rate of 9.1%. Many of our neighbors have lost their homes to foreclosure or been forced to seek loan modifications to attempt to stay in them. Many homes are valued at much more than they would sell for. Other neighbors are seniors on fixed incomes or families living with three generations in the home. Fuel prices are rising rapidly. Even the water district revenue forecast requires a 7.25% increase to customers. This levy would mean an additional $400 a year in taxes on the average $300,000 home.

Economic analysts indicate many years before this improves. This is not a bad idea but it is bad timing. We need to think about the whole community not just the kids. Vote no.

Our schools are experiencing overcrowding now. It will only get worse unless we act today. This is not luxury, but necessity.

This investment is crucial to save our schools. Failure means the prospect of moving some schools to a multi-track, year-round system.

Construction costs are low in this economy. The cost for taxpayers equates to one fast food meal per month.

This bond is vital to maintain our property values and schools. Vote yes.

Statement submitted by: Erin Weaver and Wendy Castleman •

Vote No. Tahoma School District is already rated in the top 3 percent. The district is part of the reason people choose to live in Maple Valley and all of us understand the importance of good schools. Being sensitive to trying times is not enough. Many of our neighbors struggle to stay in their homes and pay for basic necessities. They are pinching pennies too. Maybe it can’t wait 10 years but it should wait.

Statement submitted by: Sharon Morris

60% yes vote and a minimum turnout of 6,542 voters (Wash. Const. art. VII, sec. 2(b)).

1246 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

Sign up for email or text notifications