[box]UPDATED The Lake Washington School District has responded to this letter. You can read their response at http://www.kirklandviews.com/archives/24247[/box]
With all due respect to the 2 out of 5 individual board members who have endorsed the levy, there is no space crisis. They have known about the enrollment increase for years but have refused to use some of the money earmarked for modernization, and other means available to them, to handle it in a timely manner. Using a little of that money to provide space for the extra kids would not cause the voters to lose trust in the district to do what they promise in the future. That trust was already lost when they continued to tear down and replace our schools instead of modernizing them, as they promised in the two bond issues we approved. There should be more than enough money left from those bond issues to modernize the schools left in phase 2, as promised, AND handle the growth. Passing the levy will only encourage the district to proceed with their school replacement policy instead.
The levy also includes a new 6-12 secondary school. In order to reduce its cost, the district intends to use a “modular” (pre-fab) building system instead of the normal permanent school construction. The original Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Redmond also used this construction approach. Factory built modular components and portable style buildings were connected on-site to make a school. It was a relatively quick and cheap response to growth on the plateau. Never intended for permanent use, community pressure demanded replacement with permanent buildings ASAP. When enrollment projections justify building a new 9-12 high school better suited to the district’s new grade structure and other needs, community pressure will also require the replacement of this $25 million interim school.
Our district has been on a “new building” spree for years. They are determined to persist and have invested around a quarter of a million dollars to run this election for more money to do so.They are sparing no expense ($17,000 for a voters pamphlet with no opposing statement) or technique (4 color mailings and robocalls) to maximize the yes vote. Unless enough people who are opposed to the district’s continued extravagant use of our money can offset those votes by mailing in their NO votes before February 8, the district will continue their spending spree.