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Click image to see larger version. Drawing courtesy of Morgan & Associates.

The City of SeaTac announced Tuesday (Nov. 25) that AVS Communities will be building the ‘Reserve at SeaTac,’ a 289-unit apartment complex for seniors in the Angle Lake Station District.

The project is located at 19707 International Boulevard, just three blocks from the Angle Lake light rail station, which will begin operations in 2016.

The site is a former car sales lot.

The Angle lake Station will include a 10,000 square foot public plaza and 2,500 square feet of commercial space as part of the parking garage complex.

Construction of the apartments is scheduled to begin in early 2015 with completion by summer of 2016.

This announcement follows just weeks after Wright Runstad unveiled its plans for a major mixed-use transit oriented development in the same area.

Christopher Santoro, President of AVS, says that the apartment communities they develop provide “amenity rich affordable housing options for seniors that include balconies, indoor pools, fitness centers, social rooms, business centers, private dining rooms, activity and game rooms, and open space.” “The SeaTac site attracted us due to its central location between Seattle and Tacoma and the excellent access to transportation alternatives for our residents and their visitors.” Adding that: “being in the middle of an exciting new transit district and providing a catalyst for other development helps with our goal of community building.”

The project is being financed by the East West Bank and Alliant Capital who have also worked with AVS and its predecessor company, Vintage Housing to develop similar projects in the region.

“We are very excited and pleased to have the new station district selected for this project and to have more quality, affordable housing options for our community,” said SeaTac City Manager Todd Cutts. “With the plans by Wright Runstad and new hotel projects in the area, this location is proving to become what we always knew would be an excellent place for all types of real estate development.”

STB Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest’s Open House – set for both this Saturday and Sunday – is a completely updated large 5 bedroom in Gregory Heights!

It’s got hardwood floors on the main level and new carpeting on the lower level.

The kitchen and baths have been elegantly remodeled and all rooms newly painted.

Spacious rec room opens out to the serene fenced back yard.

Bonus room available for crafts, projects, gear… whatever you need.

Close to Gregory Heights community pool.

This home is move in ready, the work has all been done!

Here are some pics (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

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Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 22: 1 – 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 23:, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

WHERE: 1938 SW 166th Street, Burien, WA 98166

INFO:

  • List Price: $425,000
  • MLS Number: 700749
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 1.75
  • Year Built: 1955
  • Approximate House SqFt: 2,060
  • Approximate Lot SqFt: 7,920

Site Features:

  • Dble Pane/Strm Windw
  • Fenced-Partially
  • Gas Available
  • Outbuildings

Marketing remarks:

Completely updated large 5 bedroom in Gregory Heights!

Hardwood floors on the main level, new carpeting on the lower level.

Kitchen and baths have been elegantly remodeled and all rooms newly painted. Spacious rec room opens out to the serene fenced back yard.

Bonus room available for crafts, projects, gear… whatever you need.

Close to Gregory Heights community pool.

This home is move in ready, the work has all been done!

Click here to see the full, detailed listing.

Click here to view all of Berkshire Hathaway’s Open Houses.

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Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with friends and community at the annual Tree Lighting Event at the SeaTac Community Center on Thursday, Dec. 4 from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

This is a FREE event open to the public, and will include live entertainment, refreshments and much more:

  • 5:30-6:15 p.m.: Global Connections High School Wind Ensembles
  • 6:30–7 p.m.: ABC…123 Preschool Kids perform
  • 7 p.m.: Lighting of the Christmas Tree (outside)
  • 5:30 p.m.: Craft Projects
  • 5:30 p.m.: Take your child’s picture with Santa

The SeaTac Community Center is located at 13735 24th Ave. S.

WHEN: 12/4/2014 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

COST: Free

WHERE: SeaTac Community Center
13735 24th Ave. S.
SeaTac, Washington 98168

Good news for pets and owners in in the south end: starting Monday, Dec. 1, Advertiser Priceless Pets Veterinary Clinic in Normandy Park will now be open later to serve their client’s busy schedules!

Just in time for the busy holiday season, Priceless Pets will be open:

  • M,W,F: 9am-7pm
  • T, TH: 10am-7pm
  • Sat: 9am-5pm

PricelessPetPeeps2As always, Drs. Patrick and Lee Miles – along with their whole staff – remain committed to providing the highest quality care and friendly, compassionate service for both pets and owners. Their move to extended hours is just one more level of service and convenience you can expect to find in their practice. The also continue to offer walk-in appointments and drop-off service , however, walk-in services end 30 minutes prior to the close of business.

And as if offering more hours to care for your four-legged friends wasn’t enough, they’ve launched their new website: www.pricelesspetclinic.com, offering a host of helpful information and tips to keep your pet healthy and happy. Clients also have online access to their pets health and exam records. Can’t recall when their last vaccination was administered? No problem! Just log-on to review all those important dates.

We can’t say enough about the great care they have given our own pets. But don’t take our word for it, check out their Yelp reviews here:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/priceless-pet-clinic-normandy-park

We know you will be impressed.

Priceless Pet Clinic is located at 19893 1st Ave. South, Suite #202 in the Normandy Park Towne Center.

Call 206-592-6454 for more information, or visit www.pricelesspetclinic.com.

Be sure to “Like” them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pricelesspet

by Jack Mayne

The City of SeaTac has kept many of the same city permit fee schedules since incorporation in 1990, and the City Council was last week briefed on proposed new permit fees and, in some cases, dropping fees altogether.

Homeowners would get a percentage rate reduction on permits for home repairs under the proposed plan and all fees would be more harmonized with neighboring cities.

The changes were outlined in a presentation at the Council study session on Nov. 12 – moved from the normal Tuesday date because of the Veterans Day holiday.

The Council voted unanimously to put the fee proposal up for public hearing and expected adoption and at the Council’s next regular meeting on Nov. 25.

Inconsistent fees
Many of the circa 1990 service fees remain behind market averages while others have been revised more frequently “in response to national codes or other Council actions” with resultant inconsistencies, said Joe Scorcio, the director of community and economic development.

Some fees were recommended to be dropped entirely, for example a $30 fee for mailing out Council weekly agendas and an annual $250 fee for mailing out Council meeting packets.

“Everything is online (on the Internet) so we don’t use it and we recommend dropping it,” Scorcio said.

But new fees were added.

For example, a new fee of $300 was added for a developer’s pre-application fee to “cover a high developer-related activity area which involves many hours of staff time from multiple departments.”

Surrounding cities charge this fee to cover the cost of city staff taking time and meeting to discuss potential projects with the variety of city departments that may be involved, said Scorcio. Sometimes the meeting results in a decision that the project is not ready to proceed, other times potential problems are found early in the process.

Harmonizing with neighbors
In addition, they checked and tried to harmonize the fee schedule with neighboring cities where fees are often much different in costs to homeowners and contractors.

Rezone requests now in SeaTac have a complex variable fee schedule that ranges from $1,500 to $50,000.

Scorcio said the proposed new fee would be a flat fee of $7,050.

Short plat requests are a “high volume area for the city,” he said. They are sub dividing one parcel into four lots or less, he said.

“That is a primary development activity in the city – it’s what happening in SeaTac. Again, we have a very complicated, add-on fee methodology fee in the tables right now. We are consolidating that into a flat fee of $3,760 plus a flat fee of $2,200 for final plats.

“Again, this is a way to eliminate confusion a be able to answer definitively ‘what’s the fee’.” Scorcio said there were a lot of changes proposed to the city’s fee schedule.

Will permits scare homeowners?
Councilmember Terry Anderson asked if there would be a city fee for reroofing a house and when told there has always been a city fee for a permit to do that, she said that would not be an inducement to people to fix up their property.

“It has not been a discouragement for reroofing,” Scorcio said, prompting Anderson to suggest not just reroofing but generally rehabbing older houses, which she said a lot of people are doing in the city.

“If they had to pay a fee for everything they were doing with this house, they are just going to walk away.”

New homeowner exemptions
Owners who occupy their own home would get a 20 percent credit on applications and permits “common to homeowners” in order to “recognize existing contribution to general taxes” paid by these people, Scorcio said, in order “to shift balance toward user fees.”

Scorcio said proposed homeowner credits would lower some of the permits costs.

For example the current cost of a permit to reroof a home is a $45 work permit fee plus a $65 inspection fee. That would be replaced with a flat fee of $90.

But with the 20 percent proposed city homeowner and occupant credit, the fee would be a flat $72, a saving of $15.

Another example of savings, is the homeowner permit fees for replacement of a furnace, now a $50 fee and a $65 inspection fee. The proposed fee to non-occupant homeowner would be a flat $65 but that cost to an occupant homeowner would be a flat $52.

If a homeowners lot line must be adjusted, the current cost is $400 plus hourly engineering review fees, typically $1,000, Scorcio said. But the proposed new fee would be a flat fee of $1,230. Homeowner occupants would pay a flat $984 fee.

He said the people paying fees get a service for the money, including inspections that could prevent or lower future expenses. Fees do not cover the total cost of the city staff work involved, but the fees proposed do get more of the costs covered than the current fee schedule.

“It will cover at least half, if not slightly over half of that it that it typically will cost us to provide these services,” Scorcio said.

When credit takes effect
After a question from Councilmember Pam Fernald, Scorcio said it was up to the city to decide when the homeowner credit takes effect. It would be allowed if a homeowner contracted for the work to be done rather than the homeowner, themselves, doing the work.

Scorcio said the proposed homeowner credit was not for remodeling a home, the credit is mainly for common activities “homeowner would like do themselves or might have a contractor come in to do it.”

Fernald asked about the consequences for a homeowner just doing the work without getting a fee. Scorcio said there is a double fee proviso already in the law that doubles permit fees and it is routinely imposed when the city discovers the violation. The proposed changes would keep that double fee provision.

Scorcio did say that people who move a door or put in a window may or may not fall under the law and may not trigger action.

But a project putting on another room or altering plumbing probably will mean that there will be contractors involved who know permits are needed.

Councilmembers Tony Anderson and Dave Bush said the proposed new fee schedule was needed to be comparable with surrounding cities and for the safety of residents because inspections reveal potential problems.

Bush said he found the old fee schedule had a $40 permit fee for groups like the Girl Scouts to sell cookies, but a $5 fee for a firearms fee.

“We really need to change this,” Bush said.

City Finance Director Aaron Antin said there is no reason because there are currently fee exemptions for nonprofit services groups like the Girl Scouts or the Rotary Club. That exemption would be retained in the new schedule.

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New Angle Lake project
The Council study session on Wednesday (Nov. 12) heard a presentation by Cindy Edens, senior vice president and director of development with Wright Runstad, on the Angle Lake light rail station 7.8-acre mixed-use project where airport parking is now.

The first phase of the development is slated to begin in 2016 with future phases dependent on market needs and potential completion in 2017. The Sound Transit station is expected to open in 2016.

Edens said the of the South 200th Street project will be flexible to accommodate development of offices, hotels and retail stores, adjacent to the Sound Transit station, and the potential of a new building for the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). The agency is expected to make a final decision on the building by next March, she said.

This “awesome location” at Pacific Highway and 200th has easy access to the Seattle, South Sound and the airport, she said, with the “views to the Sound are just amazing.”

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The City of SeaTac will be hosting an Open House about the future of the City.

“We want to hear your ideas,” reads an announcement. “Transportation, Housing, Parks, and others.”

Everyone is welcome to this free and open event.

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

WHERE: Bow Lake Elementary School, 18237 42nd Avenue South, SeaTac, WA 98188

INFO: Food + Child Care Provided + Interpretation:

  • Somali – Osman (206) 225 8748 or Marian (206) 209 9496
  • Amharic & Tigrinya – Lidia (206) 832 5979
  • Oromo & Amharic – Zumara (206) 356 8970
  • English – (206) 973 4841 or 2035@cityofseatac.com

STB Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest’s Open House – set for this Sunday, Nov. 16, is an amazing 4-bedroom view home in Des Moines!

This modern lifestyle home has breathtaking, westerly Puget Sound and island views.

Refined and artfully appointed interiors of the highest quality blend with the latest in high technology.

Walls of Venetian plaster and sandstone, with many art gallery-quality etched, leaded and stained glass windows and spectacular chandeliers adorn luxurious interior spaces with soft contours and colors.

Walls of windows & French doors draw in private, spectacular views above Saltwater State Park, all located seconds from Saltys at Redondo Beach!

Here are some pics (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

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Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 16, from 1 – 3 p.m.

WHERE: 848 S. 260th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198

INFO:

  • List Price: $1,150,000
  • MLS Number: 696482
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 3.25
  • Year Built: 1991
  • Approximate House SqFt: 4,390
  • Approximate Lot SqFt: 7,262

Site Features:

  • Wine Cellar
  • Wired for Generator
  • Bath Off Master
  • Built-In Vacuum
  • Ceiling Fan(s)
  • Dble Pane/Strm Windw
  • Dining Room
  • Fireplace in Mstr BR
  • French Doors
  • High Tech Cabling
  • Jetted/Soaking Tub
  • Security System
  • Skylights
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Pantry
  • Walk-in Closet

Marketing remarks:

Modern lifestyle with breathtaking Westerly Puget Sound & island views!

Refined and artfully appointed interiors of the highest quality blend with the latest in high technology.

Walls of Venetian plaster & sandstone with many art gallery-quality etched, leaded & stained glass windows & spectacular chandeliers adorn luxurious interior spaces w/ soft contours & colors.

Walls of windows & French doors draw in private, spectacular views above Saltwater State Park, Ssconds to Saltys at Redondo Beach!

Click here to see the full, detailed listing.

Click here to view all of Berkshire Hathaway’s Open Houses.

Easter Seals CEO

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The Angle Lake Child Development Center in SeaTac was the site this week of a major announcement to help get children ready for schools, as Easter Seals Washington was named one of six nationwide recipients of the 2014-2015 Comcast Assistive Technology Grant Fund.

Easter Seals Washington will receive $25,000 to launch the Mobile Technology Lab, a project that reaches children between the ages of 2 and 5 that show that they will benefit from extra education and small group intervention.

The Easter Seals Mobile Technology Lab instructor will use iPads and award winning apps vetted through the BridgingApps Program to have the children complete exercises and play games that will sharpen skills and help them quickly catch up with their peers in reaching social and communication milestones.

“Assistive technologies can greatly improve the lives of people with disabilities by helping them to overcome barriers at home, work, school and in their community,” said Charisse R. Lillie, Vice President of Community Investment at Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast Foundation. “We are proud to support Easter Seals Washington through this grant and make a positive impact, one person at a time.”

Cathy Bisaillon, Easter Seals Washington President & CEO, said, “The Comcast Foundation is a perfect partner as we spread awareness to Make the First Five Count by monitoring children’s early development. With Comcast’s support, we will help children over small hurdles now so that they are well positioned for grade school and beyond. Working parents love the fact the program is free of charge and that it takes place during their child’s typical school day.”

The Mobile Technology Lab is a natural wrap-around service to the accredited, inclusive care being offered at Easter Seals Washington’s three Seattle area child development centers, including the one in SeaTac. All children enrolled in the centers are provided with individual assessments and education plans. The Mobile Technology Lab instructor and classroom teachers will work together to maximize the children’s learning time, both in the new sessions and throughout the day in their regular early learning classrooms.

Established in 2012, the Comcast Assistive Technology Grant Fund empowers individuals living with disabilities by expanding assistive technology training and services available to them. To date, the fund has helped an estimated 25,000 Americans. Easter Seals Washington is one of five nationwide affiliates, as well as the Easter Seals Headquarters, selected by Comcast for excellence in programs that guide consumers on assessment, training and on-going support. Individuals benefitting from this grant include children and adults living with developmental disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as veterans overcoming challenges associated with reintegration. This is the first year that Easter Seals Washington has received the grant.

About Easter Seals Washington
Every year, Easter Seals Washington provides services to more than 4,100 children and adults with disabilities across Washington state, helping individuals with disabilities and their families live better lives. Whether helping someone simply gain greater independence for everyday living or secure employment, Easter Seals Washington offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals. For more information about programs and services visit http://www.easterseals.com/washington.

Easter Seals CEO: Easter Seals CEO Cathy Bisaillon tells the audience about the dangers to academic achievement when children fall behind before starting kindergarten.

Easter Seals demo: Easter Seals instructor Katelyn Werley shows a child an app that’s not only fun but also helps to get children ready for college.

Easter Seals event Diem Ly: Comcast community relations manager Diem Ly announces that Easter Seals Washington will receive $25,000 to help get children ready for kindergarten.

Easter Seals News Event and tour: The Easter Seals Washington’s Angle Lake Child Development Center at SeaTac was the site of the news announcement. Participants also received a tour of the facility, which serves children 2 to 5.
Easter Seals event Gregorson: State Rep. and SeaTac Mayor Mia Gregorson thanked Easter Seals for all they do for children in SeaTac and thanked them for their commitment to getting children set up for success in school.

HillgroveFlagStory & Photos by Scott Schaefer
Publisher/Editor

Happy Veterans Day from The SeaTac Blog to all Vets, active military and their families!

In honor of this holiday, we encourage all our Readers to thank a Vet – buy one a beer or a meal, or just give ‘em a big ol’ hug or say “thanks!”

We’d also like to take a few moments to share some local history regarding Veterans in our area.

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Hillgrove-MarkerNot far from Des Moines is the Hillgrove Cemetery, a registered King County Landmark and one of the area’s premiere, though relatively unknown historic sites.

Located in SeaTac on S. 200th Street, just south of the airport, the privately-owned cemetery is the final resting place of many pioneer families. More than 350 people are buried there, including Veterans from the Civil War (both North and South), the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and Korea.

In 1997, The Highline Historical Society, in collaboration with Highline High School, received a King County Cultural Education grant for the restoration of the cemetery. Led by teacher Wendy Sayan, groups of students spent several years re-seating and cleaning headstones, replacing broken or stolen monuments, landscaping the area and tending the cemetery on days it was open to the public. More recently the City of SeaTac has mowed the grass and assisted with building a rockery on a threatened slope. The restoration and the mowing, along with the involvement of the students, has greatly reduced the once-rampant vandalism of the site.

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Warren “Jim” Elsey
PFC U.S. Army
World War II

Mar 13, 1925 – Jul 29, 2010

Bronze Star Medal
“Jim God Winked”

Jim was born in Enumclaw to Ted and Dollie Elsey and was the eldest of four sons. He was the descendent of one of the first families to homestead in the Des Moines area.

Jim grew up in Des Moines, graduating from Highline High School in 1943. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 and served with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy where he twice received medals for valor.

Jim raised his family in Des Moines while being employed by Bonneville Power Administration in Covington. Following retirement in 1980 he moved to his home in Holly on Hood Canal. He immensely enjoyed his fruit orchard, all aspects of gardening, boating and harvesting seafood.

Jim traveled extensively over the years throughout the United States and Europe. His favorite vacation destination was Kona, Hawaii.

Jim had a very close relationship with God and was a devoted member of Marcus Whitman Presbyterian Church. For over 40 years members from the church gathered for an annual picnic the first weekend in August at his home on Hood Canal.

Jim cherished his family and friends. He left us with memories of love and friendship and we are truly blessed by God giving us the opportunity to share our lives with him.

R.I.P. Warren, aka “Jim”!

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Capt. Sidney B Vrooman

Born July 10, 1827

Died Dec. 2, 1909

And finally, above is an historic, majestic tomb for Capt. Sidney B. Vrooman, who our research shows served in the Civil War! Records indicate that Vrooman, originally from Michigan, was wounded at the Battle at Gettysburg, but lived a long life after the war.

Capt. Sidney B. Vrooman, 1st lieut, June 19, 1861; enpt. May 22, 1862; wounded at Gettysburg; must. out. Oct. 5, 1864.

Vrooman fought in the Civil War for the Union Side, and was a First Lieutenant C in the 7th Michigan Infantry.

His wife, Sarah Huff Vrooman, is buried with him.

R.I.P. Capt. Sidney!

SOURCE: National Park Service website on the Civil War.

Just north in Burien, there’s a memorial wall dedicated to Veterans from World War I. It’s in front of Sunnydale Elementary School on Des Moines Memorial Drive, just south of S. 156th Street.

Spanning 84-feet, the wall is made of rose colored South Dakota granite with 20 four foot high slabs engraved with the names of 1428 soldiers, sailors, and marines who had given their lives in WWI.

Dedicated on Sept. 15, 1963, the stone memorial, though beautiful, “is poorly sited along the busy roadway,” the Highline Historical Society says on its website. “It has become virtually invisible to speeding motorists; it is not, and never has been, a focal point.”

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The closeup photo (and a tree, #1172, since gone) above commemorates one Darris Schalk, Private 1st Class, Company M of the 23rd Infantry, 2nd Division.

Apparently Schalk was a Runner in battle in France at Mt. Blanc Ridge, taking messages back and forth from various headquarters. The father of a young man living in Seattle bought a memorial tree in his name because he delivered a message in his son’s (Sergeant Lloyd Case) place. Consequently, on Oct. 2, 1918, Schalk was shot and killed upon returning from a delivery. Upon hearing this story, the father of the surviving son bought a tree in the memory of Schalk because his actions saved his son’s life.

A VFW Post in Arkansas is named after Darris Schalk.

Here’s a quote about Schalk’s memorial from Case’s Father:

“The death of young Schalk occurred under very touching circumstances.

My son (Sgt. Lloyd Case) and he were company runners. The officer in command gave Case instructions to hastily deliver.

Pvt. Schalk, hearing the command, exclaimed, ‘It’s my turn Case, I’ll go!’ and just as he returned he was shot, dying in a few minutes.

That brave unselfish act was his last.”

Read more about this memorial here.

R.I.P. Darris Schalk.

King County Elections released the sixth round of results for Tuesday’s general election on Friday afternoon (Nov. 7), and the Highline School District Bond, while breaking the 58% barrier, will likely not reach the 60% majority needed.

And the school district appears to have conceded.

“It appears that the Highline capital improvement bond — now at 58.03 percent approval — will not reach the 60 percent needed for passage,” the school district said on its website. “Though yes votes have been trending upward, it is unlikely the ballots yet to be counted will push the final count above the 60 percent threshold.”

Here are the latest results, as of 3:58 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7:

  • Approved: 12911 58.03%
  • Rejected: 9337 41.97%

Here’s the trend of the returns:

  • 56.68%: 1st returns (Nov. 4)
  • 57.15%: 2nd returns (Nov. 5, 4:34 p.m.)
  • 57.28%: 3rd returns (Nov. 5, 7:40 p.m.)
  • 57.55%: 4th returns (Nov. 6, 4:15 p.m.)
  • 57.68%: 5th returns (Nov. 6, 7:40 p.m.)
  • 58.03%: 5th returns (Nov. 7, 3:58 p.m.)

Here’s more from the district:

School Board President Michael Spear acknowledged that a majority of voters did vote to approve the measure. “We are grateful for the support of the many, many citizens in our community who expressed their support for our schools by voting yes,” said Spear.

With failure of the bond, the district has limited options for meeting the challenges of overcrowding and aging, deteriorating schools.

This fall enrollment is up 400 students over last year, causing crowding in elementary schools. Enrollment is expected to grow by over 2,000 in the next eight to ten years.

Bond failure also means replacement and major repairs to the district’s aging and outdated schools will have to wait.

“We will do our best to serve our students, knowing there are physical and financial limitations to what we can do to improve the learning environment in our oldest buildings,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “We will work with our community to determine a plan for moving forward.”