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On Feb. 9, 2016, Tukwila residents passed a Construction Bond with 68.24 percent approval. It authorizes the Tukwila School District to issue $99.16 million in bonds to improve the safety of buildings, alleviate overcrowding in schools, and repair/maintain infrastructures such as roofs and heating systems that have exceeded their expected life cycles. The bond’s major projects include adding a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) academic wing at Foster High and Showalter Middle and expanding core facilities at both schools; building a new Birth to Five Center for all preschool and kindergarten programs, which will alleviate crowding at our three elementary schools; and ongoing repairs and maintenance at all buildings.
In 2016, the residents of Tukwila passed a Bond in support of the students in the Tukwila School District. The Bond included the construction of a Birth to Kindergarten Center, which would house all of the current preschool and Kindergarten classes.
However, since the bond was passed, enrollment in our schools has declined considerably. At the same time, the cost of construction in King County has risen 15 to 30 percent higher than estimated when the Birth to Kindergarten Center was originally planned.
Because of both declining enrollment and rising construction costs, building a Birth to Kindergarten Center was no longer a practical or fiscally responsible option. However, the district wanted to ensure that it met its commitment to expanding early learning programming. In order to meet this objective, the Tukwila School District’s Board of Directors sought the public's input on how to reallocate the bond proceeds originally set aside for building the Birth to Kindergarten Center.
The Tukwila School District Board of Directors held a Public Hearing on October 12, 2017 for the purpose of updating community members on the status of the Birth to Kindergarten Center planning, and to obtain public comments. During the public hearing, district administration presented options to meet the Birth to K bond objectives, including using some of the money to add more classroom space and to expand its preschool programs at either some or all of the district's elementary schools. Department leaders also presented options for improvements in other areas around the district - athletics, technology, HVAC and plumbing, are just a few examples.
On December 12, 2017 at a Regular Board Meeting, the Tukwila School Board of Directors passed Resolution No. 862 to forego the building of the Birth to Kindergarten Center.