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Puyallup School District seeking bond for high school safety improvements

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PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Puyallup school officials are working to make their high schools safer as part of a larger school improvement plan.

However, it comes at a big cost, one they hope taxpayers will help pay.

Thursday was a day of celebration in Puyallup. For some seniors, it was their last day of school.

Sarafine Svoboda had to learn fast how things go at Puyallup High School.  She was only at the school for the second semester of her senior year.

One thing she says took some getting used to was getting back and forth to her classes.

"It's kind of weird having to leave a building, go into another building, leave that building, go into another building. It's kind of confusing," she said.

Sarafine's mom, Marelyn Dixon, says that routine was concerning to her.

"It can be a bit dangerous. I've seen people fly down that backstreet," she said.

There are four high schools in the district: Rogers, Puyallup, Emerald Ridge, and Walker.

Each high school has several buildings on its campus.

The district's goal is to consolidate to one building per campus.

"We always want to be thinking about how we can make it better," said Puyallup Schools Spokesperson Brian Fox.

Fox says over the last few years, the district has been working to improve its elementary and its junior high school.

"The next step is to take the security measures from lower grades and move them to high schools," Fox said.

Not just security improvements, but classroom improvements too. They come at a big cost, though, and taxpayers would have to help foot the bill.

“We’re hoping the community will also want to support the construction for the high schools and the alternative high school," Fox said.

The Puyallup School Board is taking public input now. From that point, it would go on the ballot for a vote this November.

"I think it's a great idea," said Marelyn Dixon.

By the time the changes would happen, her daughter will be long done with the Puyallup School District, but Marelyn says it's still worth the investment.

"It's the safety of the kids, they are essentially our future," she said.

Fox says the first bond for improving elementary schools and junior high schools in the district was for $292 million. He says the bond passed with nearly 70 percent of votes in favor.

This Monday is the second and final public hearing for the district's plan.

The board meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Glacier View JHS.

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