Pullman School District approves bond to renovate local middle school

Bond for local schools would cost taxpayers roughly eight cents per every $1,000



Shannon Focht, Pullman Public Schools communications coordinator, said the bond for the renovation of Lincoln Middle School would be for $15 million over 20 years. A technology levy would also provide $200,000 a year to help build the technology infrastructure of the schools.

KAITLYN TEJERO, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman School District school board approved a bond that will fund the renovation of Lincoln Middle School as well as upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of the three elementary schools in Pullman, said the district’s finance manager. These new measures would cost taxpayers about eight cents more per $1,000.

The board went through with three new tax measures, including a bond and two replacement levies on Sept. 11.

Shannon Focht, Pullman Public Schools communications coordinator, said the bond would be $15 million over 20 years and was recommended by the Capital Projects Advisory Committee.

“We were really excited that this external group that was made up of a few middle school staff members, and a whole bunch of community members, put together this proposal to the board on behalf of our community,” she said.

Diane Hodge, finance director for Pullman Public Schools, said the community and anyone with students at Lincoln Middle School or at the three elementary schools will be impacted by the measures.

“It’s always in our best interest to be accommodating with our schools. As a community we want to make sure that when people move to the area, they have nice schools to move to,” she said.

Focht said the two levies are replacement levies, meaning they are being renewed under different names. Both levies will span four years.

One of the levies is a technology levy for $200,000 a year, she said, which will help build the technology infrastructure of the schools and pay for online services for the students.

The second one is a maintenance and operations levy, she said, which will help support the projects the state does not fund.

Focht said she understands the community is sensitive to tax increases, but these measures would at most increase taxpayers’ tax rates by a small percent.

“They [The Capital Projects Advisory Committee] were very cognizant of having the bond low enough, that it would only impact taxpayers slightly at the most,” Focht said. “And, that we were not asking for any luxury items or any extras. It was really just the basics to accommodate the growth our district is facing.”

Lincoln Middle School will host a community forum, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the LMS library to gather the community’s feedback on the school’s renovation and expansion, according to the Pullman Public School website.