Capital Levy on November 6 Ballot: We're Not Just Building a School, We're Building Community
The November 6 capital levy will allow the district to do $110 million worth of facility improvements while asking only $60 million from local voters. The remaining $50 million is made up of unspent 2007 bond dollars and state match funds.
The levy has three primary goals: construct a new Federal Way High School building, improve playgrounds at 19 elementary schools, and standardize security cameras district-wide. These are the highest priority capital improvements needed in the district.
The cost? For the average homeowner, 60 cents a day.If approved, the six-year capital levy will cost a homeowner approximately $90 per year for each $100,000 in home value. That's 25 cents a day per $100,000 valuation. The estimated cost for a single-family home appraised at $240,000 will be 60 cents a day. See the table at the bottom of this page for more information.
Why is the district running a capital levy instead of a capital bond measure?By running a capital levy instead of a bond, taxpayers will save an estimated $29 million in interest. Bond measures are like a home mortgage. Interest must be paid back on top of the principal. A capital levy is a pay-as-you-go alternative that will allow all of the money collected to go directly to the levy projects. None of it will go to interest. The new Federal Way High School will be completely paid for by the time it's built in six years
The need? Real and urgent.The projects on this levy will affect the safety of students, staff and campus visitors, as well as our ability to prepare students for life after high school.
The money from this levy will pay for these three important construction projects:
1. Replace Federal Way High School with a new building that meets student and community needs
Federal Way High isn't meeting the needs of our students or the community, despite the hard work of our maintenance staff.
It's dark and crowded. The roof leaks. The heating doesn't work properly. It's nearly impossible to install wiring for current technology, and the brick walls prevent wireless computer networks from working in some areas.
One out of every four current Federal Way area elementary students will eventually attend Federal Way High. Rebuilding it now means those students will have a comfortable, light-filled and modern educational environment when they reach high school age.
2. Update security cameras to improve security district-wide
The district currently has a wide range of security camera equipment. Some schools have too few cameras. Others have none at all. Some have old, very low resolution cameras that make it difficult to identify people in the video.
By putting in comparable security cameras everywhere, staff can more easily keep an eye on our schools and help ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors. Read more »
3. Upgrade playgrounds at 19 schools to encourage active play
Many of our elementary schools have out-of-date play equipment. Some equipment is broken and can't be used. Some doesn't meet current safety standards without daily maintenance, such as raking wood chips back into place.
Updating our playgrounds will encourage students to be active at recess. It will ensure that our playgrounds meet safety standards and are accessible to all students. Active play provides many health benefits. Plus, studies show that children who actively play learn better and are more alert in the classroom.