$443 million bond passes to build new Bethel schools, renovate others

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- Last week’s special election was a major victory for the Bethel School District which passed their $443 million bond.

“I have one in third, fourth and fifth grade,” said Marcus Young, who is a busy father, school board member, coach and pastor with three kids attending Bethel Schools.

“My children go to Naches Trail Elementary school. It’s a very older school, it reminds me of when I was in school,” said Young.

He was among those supporting the bond put to voters in February’s special election. State law requires a 60% supermajority and it passed with 66.1% approval. Results will be finalized by Pierce County on February 22nd.

“We blew it from the mountain tops,” said Young. Voters failed to pass the bond in the November election coming in at 59.2% and 307 votes short.

This is the first bond passed by the Bethel School District since 2006.

It means two new elementary schools will be built and a new Bethel High School. Those three schools are expected to go through the permitting process and completed in the next 3-4 years.

The bond also means six other schools will be renovated or expanded. The district says taxpayers in the district will pay about $35 per month for the average home valued at $300,000.

“Just to know they’ll be able to have nicer halls, nice lockers, you can feel you’re the stepchild when you have an older school and up the street, there’s a nice school,” said Young.

He says by the time the schools are built only his youngest will walk those hallways, but he says the bond is paying it forward for future generations. The school district says they’ve had historic growth with more than 700 students added in the last two years alone.

The Bethel School District will meet Tuesday to discuss project plans and begin putting together a timeline. The district says they credit the passing of the bond this go around to several factors, including PTA moms who went door-to-door collecting and delivering ballots and students who made a documentary showing the conditions of their schools and more community outreach.

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