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To the Editor:

Based on the work of the Community Capital Planning Committee and of other community members, the Ellensburg School District is proposing a capital facilities bond on the Nov. 6 ballot. The bond proposal would meet all the elementary school needs that have been on the back burner while various bonds were proposed for the middle school.

The needs are for 1) more classrooms, in one new and two existing elementary schools, to meet growth and get students out of portable classrooms, 2) more core space — cafeterias, gyms, etc. — to accommodate the additional students, and 3) major maintenance at Lincoln and Mount Stuart schools.

While the bond issue is large, bundling all the projects together in this election takes advantage of opportunities to maximize state construction funding and maintain a stable tax rate. Passing the bond before the middle school project is officially accepted into the district’s inventory gives access to additional state funding. Passing the bond at the time of the McCleary tax cap and the repayment of the high school bond allows the school tax rate to be maintained at a stable level for the foreseeable future.

This bond proposal would give Ellensburg three modern, uncrowded elementary schools. Crowding at Valley View, our fourth and newest elementary school, would be addressed as students and teachers moved to the new and renovated schools. If the bond passes, the school board will involve community members in setting the learning goals and designing the three schools. All would be designed for 21st century learning. Touring the new middle school should convince anyone that a renovation can completely transform an existing building. Please come to public tours of Morgan on Monday, Oct. 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. And please vote by Nov. 6!

Meg Ludlum

Ellensburg school board member, Ellensburg

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