March 10 Capital Improvement Bond
What is the bond?Bonds are used for capital projects such as construction and modernization of school buildings. The $300 million bond, if passed by voters, would cover one of four proposed phases of the Tacoma Renewal and Excellence Program (T-REX)—a long-range district facilities improvement plan that would continue through 2024.
What will the bond pay for?This bond would complete modernizations or new construction at district secondary schools and small capital projects districtwide. The average age of the schools that would be updated is 60 years with the age of the oldest building at 84 years. The bond would fund major construction projects at:
- Baker Middle School
- Hunt Middle School
- Stewart Middle School
- Wilson High School, Phase II
Districtwide small capital projects include:
Heating and ventilation improvements
Roof and carpet replacements
Energy efficiency measures
Improvements to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities
Playground equipment improvements
Site improvements for parking and student pick-up and drop-off areas
Additional examples of small capital projects include: Foss High School carpet replacement and Foss Little Theater and athletic field upgrades; Lincoln High School athletic field and performing arts center upgrades; Stadium High School athletic field turf replacement; and Wilson High School athletic field and performing arts center upgrades.
What is the facilities planning process?
The district formed a Facilities Advisory Committee in 1983 to create a master facilities plan for modernizing and replacing aging school buildings. Tacoma Renewal & Excellence program (T-REX) is an extension of the community’s investment in Tacoma schools and will address the capital needs of the 24 schools still in need of modernization or replacement. This four-phase T-REX program—a 15-year effort—seeks to ensure that all district students have access to facilities that are safe and provide an environment that supports learning.
Accomplishments of the last bond issue
The 2001 bond funded new construction of Giaudrone and Gray middle schools, Mt. Tahoma High School and Stafford Elementary School. In addition, the 2001 bond provided for modernizations at Fern Hill, Larchmont, Mann and Whittier elementary schools; Meeker Middle School; and Foss, Stadium and Wilson (Phase I) high schools. First Creek Middle School will open in September 2009.
How will the bond affect taxes?It is estimated that the overall school tax rate would increase by $.75 per thousand of assessed property value in 2010, if this bond measure is approved by voters. School taxes are significantly lower than in the past. The estimated total school tax rate would be $1.94 less than the total school tax rate in 2004.
Where can I get more information?Additional information about school finance, voter registration and the proposed bond can be found on the Tacoma Public Schools Web site at www.tacomaschools.org.
You may also call the Public Information Office at 253.571.1015 for more information, copies of printed information or to request a speaker for your next meeting. Informational materials are also available in Cambodian, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
For information about absentee voting or ballot drop-off locations, please call the Pierce County Elections Office: 253.798.7430.
Exemptions: Some senior citizens and disabled persons may be exempt from all or part of this bond. Contact the Pierce County Assessor's Office or call the Hotline: 253.798.6111.