Coupeville bond's winning margin widens

One high school student was likely partially responsible for Tuesday’s big school bond win in Coupeville.

High school Senior Ursula Berg supports the democratic process and wanted to help students voice their opinion.

One way she did that was assisting students in registering to vote earlier this year. She conducted the voting drive as part of her service project with National Honor Society.

Her efforts appear to have paid off as 26 of her fellow classmates registered to vote.

“I just felt not enough young people care about who’s elected and I thought if we gave them a little extra nudge it would help them out,” Berg said. After graduating from Coupeville High School this year, she’s off to Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

“She’s very committed to participatory democracy,” said Barbara Ballard, NHS advisor at Coupeville High School. “It was a project that developed from her own interests and passions.”

She added that Berg did all of the advertising and leg work to provide two opportunities, once in January and again in February, for students to register to vote.

Berg didn’t know how many new voters participated in Tuesday’s bond election which will fund a new high school, but if they followed the general trend, they helped approve the bond issue.

As of Thursday afternoon, the $22.8 million measure appears to have been approved by voters, as 2,022 voters approved the bond while 942 voters rejected it. The 68.2 percent majority easily breaks the 60 percent needed for a bond measure to pass.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” said Coupeville Schools Superintendent Bill Myhr. “It’s a positive mandate from people that they agree with the facilities plan.”

Even though the bond appears certain to pass, the election won’t certified until May 28 after more absentee votes trickle in.

Taxpayers are going to pay an additional $1.35 per $1,000 of assessed property value beginning in 2005, for an estimated 18 years.

With the passage of the bond, officials are busy with a variety of projects.

Beginning this summer folks will notice their bond money at work when a $520,000 roofing project begins. Work crews will replace the roofs on the high school annex building, the multi-purpose room, the elementary school and the gym.

While the roofs will be replaced this summer, officials are getting the ball rolling on the $19.8 million high school that is expected to be complete sometime between September 2006 and September 2007.

Starting next week, the district will start looking for an architect for the high school. That search is expected to take four to eight weeks.

Myhr said the design process for the high school should begin full speed after the summer.

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