Edmonds School District sells $200 million in construction bonds; refinances 2014 bonds to save money

College Place Middle School will be replaced under the bond measure approved by voters. (Photo courtesy Edmonds School District)

The Edmonds School District said Thursday it has sold $200 million in bonds authorized from the voter-approved 2024 School Construction Bond in order to begin construction on several projects. At the same time, the district said it took advantage of low bond interest rates to refinance 2014 bonds. The refinancing will save taxpayers $12.3 million over the next decade.

“These financial moves are opportunities for us to demonstrate our commitment to both fiscal responsibility and the future of our schools for our students,” said Superintendent Rebecca Miner. “By securing funding for these vital voter-approved construction projects we are investing directly in learning environments for our students. At the same time, refinancing our existing bonds demonstrates our dedication to being good stewards of our taxpayer dollars.”

Voters approved the 2024 School Construction Bond on Feb. 13, with a 65% approval. The bond addresses several critical needs. It will replace College Place Middle School, College Place Elementary and Westgate Elementary. Additionally, funds from the bond allow the district to accelerate the construction replacing Oak Heights Elementary with groundbreaking now taking place this summer. The bond also funds the construction of a fifth middle school, enabling the district to switch to a sixth-through-eighth grade middle school model starting in the 2028-29 school year.

Learn more about the 2024 School Construction Bond on the district’s website.

  1. Does not make sense to me that you could refinance bonds from 2014 at a lower interest rate today. I am no economist but 2 of my good friends are so will ask them

  2. Just wondering where your going to put the staff and students as you demolish and rebuild? It takes time to build out.

    1. Hi Otto — generally when construction happens the district houses students and staff in a school building that isn’t being used. The former Woodway Elementary School in the Firdale Village area has been used for this purpose and the former Alderwood Middle School in Lynnwood is also available. — Teresa

  3. ESD often has several bonds outstanding at any given time. We vote for authorized bond amounts and projects. EDS frequently reviews all of the outstanding and proposed bonds to see if combining or splitting will reduce the overall cost to the taxpayer for new projects. Doing so gives us more bang for the buck.

    Otto, Teresa is correct about what generally happens when a new school is to be built on an existing site. Often it requires a tear down and rebuilding while kid go to the vacant buildings. In the Westgate project and the College Place project there is enough space to build the new school first, move the kids and then tear down the old. Another concept will be used to save taxpayer money for the College Place project will be to use some common facilities for both schools that will be built on that property.

    The ESD has always engaged citizens in the analysis of school building replacement and the process used to design and build in a way to minimize costs and create building that can be adapted to future changes is always done to save taxpayer dollars. They do a great job to provide adequate buildings for our kids!

  4. Teresa, Mr Haug
    Thank you for the explanation, some of my concerns are these schools are old! Having shared space while going through the demolition process I’m thinking about asbestos particulates other contamination being airborne, I would hope things would be done correctly keeping the long term use as the primary driver. Make them last another 50 years or at least the structure with the ability to change the interior as needs change. “like the internet” who knows what’s next?.

    1. With the current budget shortfall, management has decided to take 3 furlough days on top of their 25 paid vacation days and cut custodial staff by 60 days. They have also cut maintenance and grounds down 11 positions. They are going to be paying more in contractors and letting older buildings suffer from lack of cleaning and maintenance. Please ask them how they think that is being good stewards of the publics buildings. This next year should be a good reputation of what they are doing for you the tax payer and our staff and students.

      I watch this district reward management with raises they don’t deserve and cut programs and workers for ten years now. Its disgusting to watch my childhood district waste money and not do what they are supposed to do, Make COLLEGE AND WORLD Ready Citizens! Please stop thinking they actually care about students. They only care about enriching their salary and insulating themselves from responsibly.

      I am one of the maintenance positions being cut. I work on card access, cameras, intercoms and fire alarms systems. All systems still in use in all buildings and being increased in new buildings. This work will be increasing done by contractors at a much higher rate to taxpayers. Well done management.

  5. Otto, when volunteering for several citizen study groups for the ESD a lot of learning took place about how we are designing and building new buildings. Older schools were built with outside doors, and classrooms that often had load bearing walls. Newer buildings use outside walls and posts to support the basic structure. classroom wall can be moved to change the changing needs without impacting loadbearing wall. In some cases, the wiring is already in place to be extended for an addition.

    Bidding is also done, when possible, with an eye on costs. If a general contractor for example is building 2 schools and they are staggered, they can use the same subcontractor for both jobs and therefore get better pricing.

    The project folks at EDS are amazing on how to keep building cost as low as possible while building quality builds that are adaptable for the future.

    1. Mr Haug,
      Thank you for the follow-up, I appreciate you taking time to help explain the process.

      Respectfully
      Otto

  6. My apologies to Mr Otto Goettel. My comment was not to his post but was ment to be a separate post. Although Otto dose make a very good point about the asbestos in the schools to be demolished. Both CPM and CPE have asbestos in them and before demolition it will be removed and disposed of properly by the contractor. That will be the end of the exposures at those schools forever. However that still leaves the rest of our older schools that still have asbestos in them. Brier Terrace Middle was closed for a day back on October 6th last year for a reported asbestos contamination in the air system. That was found and reported by another maintenance position that is being cut by management. All ACM reports should be located at each school and available for anyone to see if anyone is concerned. Asbestos exposure dose not show up right away and may take many years to.

  7. ict when they first decided to invest money into this thing called the Internet and tools for staff at each school, I won’t get into details but my hope is this rebuilding will be different or might I say professionally thoughtful. I would think your position in technology would be a critical need in the ESD?.

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