Letter | Why I can't vote for the Lake Washington School District Bond

By Paul Hall

I understand from the Lake Washington School District's web site that their proposed Bond Issue includes 134 million dollars for the  "modernization" of Juanita High School.  That web site also describes "modernization" as the complete upgrading of a facility by either renovation or tear-down and replacement.

Although there is no information in the voter's pamphlet or web site regarding the scope of work planned for Juanita High School, their director of communications has informed me that the school district hasn't yet decided how they will "modernize" the school.  She says that the full study to make this decision has not been done, but that the money asked for in the Bond Issue is for the worst-case scenario, a tear down and full replacement.

There could be arguably somewhere around 100 million dollars difference between the complete renovation of this easily modernized building and a tear-down and replacement. Whereas there are many complex issues regarding Juanita High School, I believe that

  1. they should have been thoroughly vetted and resolved;
  2. a complete analysis of options for modernization completed; and
  3. an openly justified decision made on how to proceed with this project before the school district asked us for the approval to spend such a large sum of money.

I can't justify my vote of approval for this Bond Issue absent such process.