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Voters decide Tuesday on new high school

Tuesday, March 18. Coupeville voters will head to the polls to decide whether to approve a $22.8 million bond that will help pay for a replacement high school in the Coupeville School District.

In the days leading up to the bond election, signs have appeared in residents’ yards and sign-wielding volunteers will be out today and Tuesday at the intersection of Highway 20 and Main Street to rally support for the bond.

One of the last informational meetings conducted by Superintendent Bill Myhr was held Thursday morning in front of a sparse crowd during the monthly meeting of the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce held at the Coupeville United Methodist Church.

Fifteen people attended the meeting where Myhr highlighted the need for the bond and how the community in general uses school district facilities.

“When you build schools, you have to build it for the community,” Myhr said, pointing out that groups such as the Garden Club, 4-H Club and the Beach Watchers frequently use school district facilities.

The most used building, the multi-purpose room at the elementary school, is one of the buildings that is getting a new roof this summer should the bond pass. Other roof projects include the main gym, the elementary school and the high school annex.

The roofing projects are a high priority for the school district and officials hope those projects will be complete by the end of the summer.

“We’re trying to put ourselves in a position that, if the bond passes, we don’t lose an entire summer of construction,” Myhr said.

Plans call for a new high school to be built on the baseball field. Once construction is complete, the current high school will be demolished.

Myhr said during the meeting that the new high school will provide the flexibility to meet technology needs in the future, be ADA compatible and be a two-story design that fits the historic character of the town.

The audience asked questions that ranged from how long it will take to build the school to what kind of interest rates the bonds will receive.

Myhr said that the new high school should be finished sometime between September 2006 and September 2007.

Should voters approve the bond, taxpayers within the Coupeville School District will see a $1.35 per $1,000 increased in their property taxes. However, that cost would be minimized when a current 73 cent bond that was used to pay for the middle school ends in 2007.

Myhr said the school district should receive a favorable interest rate when the bonds are sold in June.

He also said Tuesday’s election has already been validated, with 1,700 absentee ballots already turned in.

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