Naches Valley School District asking voters to pass $22 million bond

NACHES, Wash.-- School district leaders in Naches say two of their schools are falling apart. They want voters to pay to replace them. The price tag is more than $20 million. A similar plan was rejected a couple of years ago.

Margaret St. Martin and her family are all products of the the Naches Valley School District.

"All three of our sons," St. Martin said. "We went through this school district too, and now I have grand kids here."

Margaret's husband went to the Naches Valley Primary school and was in the same classroom his granddaughter is now.

"They're being educated now, but they need to be in a better comfort zone than what they have now," she said.

Better comfort is one of the reasons the Naches School Board is pushing a new bond measure for almost $23 million. The school district wants to build a new school to replace the primary school and Naches Valley Intermediate School. Both schools are more than 60 years old.

"They're simply worn out," Naches Valley Superintendent Duane Lyons said.

Administrators say their heating and ventilation systems are outdated. Most classrooms only have two electrical outlets with single-pane windows and there is no air conditioning.

"I want them to be warm when they go in the wintertime," St. Martin said. "I want them to be cool when they go when school starts in the summer time."

"It's just so warm in the fall and so warm in the spring, you know, we've had crayons melt," Lyons said.

A similar bond for the same money fell a little short of the required 60 percent super majority two years ago. Supporters say it failed because voters had no idea where the new school would go.

This time that won't be the case. The school district has locked down 11 acres of land off US 12 and Allan Road. There is one home on the lot. The homeowner there says she's going to move if the bond is passed so the new school can be built.

It's a decision voters will make in February. Ballots will be mailed in late January for a February election day.