Bond Information 2017

BOND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is West Valley School District proposing a BOND ISSUE?

Reason #1       Student Capacity Issues:

  • From the 2011-12 school year through November, 2016, WVSD has seen an increase of 7% growth (4837 students to 5170) in student population and with three multi-family housing developments currently planned or under construction there are severe student capacity challenges ahead.
  • We currently have over 100 students housed in portables at Apple Valley. These are dry portables meaning that students have to leave the portables to walk outside to go to the bathroom, go get their lunch in the gym and return to the classroom, etc.
  • Summitview is completely full, using every classroom space available as well as not being able to provide needed programs in space conducive to learning.  
  • West Valley Junior High is currently full with regard to having a teacher teaching in every classroom space available. We have utilized computers on wheels (COWS) in order to eliminate computer labs, thereby creating additional teaching classrooms. The trouble we have been encountering is the lack of electrical capacity in order to maximize this alternative.

Reason #2       Educational Learning Environment Issues:

  • Apple Valley and Summitview Schools, as well as West Valley Junior High School need to be upgraded to current educational and technical standards.
  • Summitview Elementary School cannot offer the same programs that students at other schools have the opportunity to participate in due to the lack of any additional space. Beyond educational and technical standards is dealing with the lack of electrical capacity at all schools. Even with additional technology the challenge becomes being able to have the necessary electrical outlets or the capacity to operate without blowing circuits.
  • These buildings are not at as energy efficient as they could be, meaning that advancing technology for these students is almost impossible. We believe that it is critical to provide the best possible learning environment for our students as they eventually compete with students from other school districts for slots in college, technical school, and the job market. 

What is the Proposal that will be on the February 14th Ballot?

  • New 550 student elementary school on the Apple Valley site.
  • New 550 student elementary school on the Summitview site.
  • Modernization to the West Valley Junior High School that includes additional 11 classrooms and takes school student capacity from 836 (which it has surpassed) to 1100 students.

Why Apple Valley? 

  • Apple Valley was opened in 1969 as an open concept school with three separate buildings for a capacity of 250 students.  We are now at an enrollment of 340 students with the utilization of three dry portables – without water or restroom facilities, again creating travel to one of our main buildings for restroom purposes.
  • At capacity, no available classrooms. For past four years we have creatively found space, but are out of space for any preschool programs, additional support programs, or additional classes that are anticipated with the future growth. 
  • Educationally outdated. Complete lack of electrical capacity needed for technology that other schools appreciate.
  • Assemblies held in our gym exceed compliance codes, and all music programs are held at WVJH.

Why Summitview? 

  • Summitview Elementary was opened in 1958.
  • At capacity, no available classrooms. All space that can be used is currently being used, but are out of space for any preschool programs, additional support programs, or additional classes that are anticipated with the future growth. ELL Specialist, Occupational Therapist, and Braille Specialist serve students in hallways or on the stage.  
  • Educationally outdated. Complete lack of electrical capacity needed for technology that other schools appreciate.
  • Assemblies held in our gym exceed compliance codes, and all music programs are held at WVJH.

Why West Valley Junior High School?

  • West Valley Junior High School was opened in 1978.
  • At capacity, no available classrooms. Four portables are being used in order to assist with capacity issue.
  • Educationally outdated. Lack of electrical capacity needed to further student learning. 
  • Lack of ADA access/updates making certain teaching stations inaccessible for students, staff, or community members who might be in a wheelchair.
  • Brick exterior looks fine, but serious infrastructure issues are mounting and the costs will eventually be excessive to repair.

My child will be attending one of the other elementary schools. Does this proposal affect my child’s school?  Yes, with all six of the district's elementary schools at capacity, the overcrowding impacts all six schools. The only way to control the overcrowding at the six schools is to create additional capacity throughout the district. By increasing the capacity of Apple Valley and Summitview it allows the district flexibility to move programs around to different schools to alleviate overcrowding. Additionally, every child in the West Valley School District passes through West Valley Junior High School. Every child will benefit from an upgrade in the capacity, and educational enhancement of West Valley Junior High School.

Will increasing capacity with new schools on the Apple Valley and Summitview sites accommodate all growth issues?  No. We will have growth issues continuing forward which will require additional capacity at other elementary schools, and the middle level campus. For the past several years the district has continued to move grades out of the elementary schools to accommodate the growth. Our elementary schools were K-6, then K-5, and now are K-4. We have run out of options and need to accommodate the growth with additional capacity. We have developed a building facilities plan that will take the District out to 2025. The needs of every school in the district are included in that plan.

Exactly how much will this Bond Issue cost me if approved – How will it affect my property taxes?  This Bond will cost property owners an estimated $ 1.58 / $1000 of assessed property valuation. This is an estimate because continued construction and development in West Valley will spread the cost out over more property owners.

This breaks down as follows:

  • For $100,000 valuation           $158.00 annual increase          $13.16 monthly increase         $0.44 daily increase          
  • For $200,000 valuation           $316.00 annual increase          $26.32 monthly increase         $0.88 daily increase
  • For $300,000 valuation           $474.00 annual increase          $39.48 monthly increase         $1.32 daily increase          

What is the total amount that the District has saved over the last three years in Bond Debt refinancing? 

  • In 2014-15 alone debt refinancing saved taxpayers $1,182,319 over the next 10 years. Over the past five years, the District has refinanced bonds into total savings of $4,190,690.

Are there exemptions for senior citizens and disabled persons?

  • Yes, if you meet certain eligibility requirements. Your household income and your age or disability determines your eligibility for both programs. For additional information about eligibility, contact the Yakima County Assessor's Office at (509) 574-1100.

Where will my child go to school during construction?  

  • The Elementary plan is for the construction of the New Apple Valley Elementary School and New Summitview Elementary School as soon as possible after successful passage of the Bond Issue for occupation in August/September, 2019.
  • West Valley Junior High School new classroom construction areas that would bring the gym breezeway area, and courtyard area into the new building would be built immediately. These new classrooms would assist with moving students in stages during the construction period at West Valley Junior High School. The school would be ready for occupation in August/September, 2020.

Will the District receive any matching funding from the State?  

  • The District will receive approximately $20 million in matching funds for the project. The amount of money we will receive is dependent upon a formula used by the State of Washington to allocate capital resources. Any matching money received will be used to insure that the two schools are thoroughly completed during this time of rising costs. Once the two elementary schools have been completed, any money remaining will be used to address future facility needs in the district. Before any matching funds can be used on a project other than Apple Valley, Summitview, and West Valley Junior High Schools, Washington State law requires the school district to follow the public hearing process to insure that the matching money is used in the best interest of both the district and the public.

Does the Bond need 60% approval to pass?  

  • Yes, school construction bond measures still require a 60% super majority approval to pass. This is different from school maintenance & operations levies which only require a 50% approval to pass. Maintenance & operations levies are usually run every two to four years and support the day to day operations of the school district. Bond levies are only for building schools. Remember L is for Levies, and Learning. B is for Bonds and for Buildings.

When would Apple Valley, Summitview, and West Valley Junior High School be completed? 

  • When the Bond Issue is approved on February 14, 2017 the estimated time for occupation would be as follows:

Apple Valley Elementary – August/September, 2019.

Summitview Elementary – August/ September, 2019.

West Valley Junior High School – August/September, 2020