Bond passes to replace aging Nooksack Valley Middle School

A $27.9 million school bond that will replace a 68-year-old middle school has been approved by voters.

More than 70 percent of ballots in the Nooksack Valley School District were in favor of the bond, according to preliminary counts Tuesday night, Feb. 10. The bond proposal needed 60 percent voter approval to pass.

The bond will pay for a replacement of Nooksack Valley Middle School and to renovate a part of Nooksack Valley High School.

“We’re grateful for our community that always puts kids first,” said district Superintendent Mark Johnson. “There’s a bright light shining on the kids of Nooksack tonight.”

The bond is projected to raise taxes $1.72 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value, or $430 per year for the owner of a home valued at $250,000.

The district’s previous bond that expired in 2013 averaged $2.38 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value.

The state is expected to match an estimated $7.4 million for the school projects.

The middle school was constructed in 1947. The school’s locker room stalls have no toilets and most classrooms have only a couple electrical outlets in them. School officials have said there are heating and plumbing issues in the school as well.

The bond also allows the district to replace a portion of the high school that was built in 1954. The section would include a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math classroom, a new counseling center, and a fitness center to replace the current weight room.

Surveillance and security for all schools in the district will be upgraded using the bond money. Nooksack Valley Elementary School also will have four classrooms added on.

“There was a positive response because people recognized that what was being asked for was needed,” Johnson said.

The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office will certify election results Feb. 24.