Voters finally pass Blaine school bond

Voters have approved a $45 million replacement bond to pay for renovations to Blaine High School and upgrade Blaine elementary and primary school buildings.

Preliminary results Tuesday night showed nearly 70 percent of voters said “yes” for the 20-year bond, which will replace the current bond expiring in 2016.

The bond proposal needed 60 percent voter approval to pass.

Ron Spanjer, Blaine School District superintendent, said he was elated with the results.

“This is a long overdue project and we’re thrilled to have the support of the community,” Spanjer said.

Tax rates of the bond are projected to cost property owners $1.04 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value, or $260 a year for a $250,000 home. That is slightly less than the tax rates of the expiring bond.

School officials have said the current high school facility does not fit the technological or spatial needs for the number of students on campus.

The core high school facility was built for 350 students in 1971. There are currently around 640 high school students who share a library, cafeteria and computer labs with the middle school.

Similar bonds to renovate Blaine High School were voted down in 2008 and 2011. The $32 million bond in 2011 had 59 percent voter approval, just short of the 60 percent needed to pass. A $3 million bond was approved by voters in 2012 to add six science classrooms to the high school.

The district waited to propose another bond until the current bond was set to expire, Spanjer said.

The 2008 and 2011 bonds included property acquisition for an elementary school in Birch Bay, something that this $45 million bond did not include.

Other facility improvements the bond will cover include an eight-classroom pod added to Blaine Primary School to support all-day, every-day kindergarten, four additional classrooms to Blaine Elementary School, and maintenance improvements at all schools.

Spanjer said all projects are expected to be completed by the 2019-20 school year.