Local Election

Bellingham voters were asked to approve a $155 million school bond. Did they say yes?

Voters have approved a $155 million bond for the Bellingham School District, according to preliminary election results.

“We are so thankful to our voters, and we are excited about what this bond will mean for our students and our community,” district Superintendent Greg Baker said in a statement. “There are so many important projects that will move forward because of our community’s support, and all of the new or improved facilities will benefit our students for years to come.”

For the bond to pass, the district needed at least 40 percent of the voter turnout from the November election, or at least 13,243 people, and 60 percent of the turnout needed to approve the bond.

As of the most recent count on Wednesday, the measure had 21,984 votes.

Of those, 69.9 percent were in favor of the measure, according to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office.

The next ballot count is set for next Thursday, the day before the election is certified on Feb. 23.

A couple of hundred ballots remain to be counted, with a few more still coming by mail, according to the Auditor’s Office.

The remaining ballots, which could include those for a Mount Baker School District levy, aren’t going to change the bond’s approval.

The 20-year bond will pay for a wide array of projects that include replacing Alderwood, Sunnyland and Parkview elementary schools; safety, technology and communication upgrades; additional gym space for Shuksan Middle School; and to complete high school fields and Sehome High School.

As for the renewal of Mount Baker’s six-year facility and technology levy, that also has passed with 58.5 percent approval from a total of 2,906 votes.

It needed a simple majority to pass.

Mount Baker Superintendent Charles Burleigh said its passage was “great news.”

“This levy will support projects to provide quality learning environments, up-to-date technology and protect the investment our community has made in our school facilities over the next six years,” he said in a statement.

Property taxes will be used to repay the bond and fund the levy.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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