Bond 2019 Information
Rapid enrollment, safety upgrades, and the elimination of portable classrooms are all reasons the Sunnyside School District has placed a construction bond to expand Sunnyside High School facilities on the February 12, 2019 ballot.
The bond will provide:
- A modern, two-story classroom building
- Additional space for curricular and co-curricular activities including theater arts, instrumental music programs, and athletics for both school and community use
- Needed parking, walkways, courtyard space, and maintenance access roads
- Additional security systems to support these spaces will also be included in the bond
Sunnyside High School is currently over capacity by more than 200 students and that number is expected to increase to an estimated 360 students over the next five years. The current capacity of Sunnyside High School is 1,850. As of this October, there are more than 2,071 students in attendance. Current enrollment in grades 4 through 7 is more than 2,270.
Why Are These Items The Priority?
Educational Space - The enrollment data above shows that the District’s smaller classes will be graduating in the next four years. The District’s largest classes, 3-8, will move into the high school in the coming years. In order to meet the educational needs of the increase, we need to expand the number of classrooms and common space at the high school.
Additionally, increases to enrollment in our music and theater programs drives the need to increase our fine arts space to accommodate classes.
Athletic Facilities – The number of outdoor extra-curricular activities available to students has also increased. Students in grades 7-12 have the opportunity to participate in soccer, football, cross country, tennis, fast-pitch softball, golf, track and field, and baseball. Community-based programs for sports including soccer, football, fast pitch softball, and baseball have also increased.
Sunnyside High School athletic facilities have remained the same for the past two decades while enrollment and participation have significantly increased. Safety concerns and equity to other similar-sized districts are all thoughts that have been shared in community forums and feedback opportunities.
How Was This Decision Reached?
This section contains information on the Sunnyside School District's process leading up to asking voters to consider a $16 million bond to address the top needs in accommodating increased enrollment and participation in school and activities at Sunnyside High School.
The school board and superintendent have gathered feedback from stakeholders, conducted facilities evaluations based on current and future enrollment growth (pictured in the charts below), and preliminary planning for potential facilities to accommodate that growth.
- An initial community stakeholder survey was conducted in September and October of 2016 by edTactics.
- School board work sessions throughout 2016-17, minutes are available online
- Two sessions of Thought Exchange, June 2017 (complete) and September 2017 (ongoing),
- Three community forum events, May 2017, September 2017, and October 24, 2017,
- Meetings by the Community Facilities Advisory Committee held Jan. 18, 2018, Nov. 15, and Oct. 18, 2017,
- Consultation with architectural and financial professionals.
- April 2018 $18 million bond to expand Sunnyside High School failed to reach the needed 60 percent super majority.
- Board work sessions from June 2018 - Dec. 2018, minutes are available online.
- Survey mailed to all Sunnyside School District addresses. Results are available here.
- Community advisory meeting on Nov. 6, 2018.
- Board approves resolution to place a $16 million bond on the Feb. 12 ballot.
- The Sunnyside School District's current bond tax rate is $0.00 per $1,000 of assessed value because the current bond tax is paid out the school district's excess general fund balance.
- If voters did have to pay the bond tax rate, it would be $2.00 per $1,000 in assessed value. This amount includes the construction of Washington Elementary which was completed in 2016 and the Sunnyside High School expansion in 2009.
- The Sunnyside School District's 2018 tax rate is $1.89 per $1,000 of assessed value for a Maintenance and Operations Levy voters approved in February of 2016. The tax rate will drop to $1.50 in 2019.
- If voters approve this $16 million bond issue, the estimated tax rate will be $0.73 per $1,000 in assessed value.
- With the reduced levy tax rate, the $0.73 bond tax rate will only increase tax rates by $0.34 from 2018.
- This bond debt, if approved, would be paid in full in 20 years time.