After the first votes were counted Tuesday night, Oakville School District’s $5.6 million school bond request was passing with 63.64 percent of the vote.
Bonds require a 60 percent supermajority to pass. Of a total of 473 votes counted as of Tuesday, 301 were in favor.
The bond will collect $5.6 million from Oakville citizens if passed, and qualify the district for $9 million in matching funds from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) School Construction Assistance Program.
The bond is intended to fund various projects to improve conditions for students.
The bond rate will be $2.18/ $1,000 of the total value of the resident’s properties.
Oakville residents also voted on the 2020 Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy, which, unlike the bond, is not a new tax. The school has lowered the levy rate from $2.50 per $1,000 in assessed value to $2.15 per $1,000.
As of Tuesday, the levy was passing with 66 percent of the vote, or 312 of 472 total votes.
“We are extremely grateful to our voters. Grateful for their trust that they’re putting in us to manage the money the right way. To keep rolling in the direction we have started in. It’s a big day for Oakville to be able to do some really positive things for kids that need to be done,” said Oakville Superintendent Rich Staley.
Staley said that moving students out of the current kitchen building where they eat lunch is priority number one and that construction on that project should start in the spring.
The current kitchen and surrounding building was built in 1953 and it is not up to code in many ways. Staley said that in 2019 their school kitchen barely passed the annual evaluation by the Health Department. The building experiences numerous leaks that have required staff to move stored food and supplies to an unused classroom to avoid the leakage. There is asbestos flooring throughout the building which was banned in the 1980s due to the discovery of health risks associated with the material.
“We are meeting with folks next week to start putting a plan together,” Staley said. “We’re in a really exciting place because we are going to start to see some of the stuff that we had a vision for to make things better for kids.”