Mead voters consider bond to pay for new schools

Mead voters consider bond to pay for new schools

It’s been said that if you build it, they will come. But, in the Mead School District, they’re already here and they brought their kids.

Bria Bodine recently moved to Spokane County from across the country with her husband and four children.

“If this community didn’t have such a reputation for having a great school system, we wouldn’t have moved here in the first place,” Bodine said.

She heard a lot about the Mead schools before moving here.

“They have great sports programs and their curriculums are excellent,” Bodine said. “The teachers are really sweet, really committed to their students and the other thing that was big for me is I feel like the families in this school district are really committed to their kids education.”

That success comes at a cost for the school and for taxpayers though.

Mead School District Superintendent Tom Rockefeller said a recent demographics study revealed the district is on track to gain 3,000 students by 2025. He said enrollment jumped by 733 in the last ten years and it’s grown by more than 300 kids his year. Rockefeller said that’s why the $114.5 million facilities bond is necessary.

The bond request would pay for a new middle school and elementary school, along with a new transportation co-op facility and maintenance facility. The middle school would be located on Five Mile Prairie, not far from the existing elementary school. The proposed elementary school site is still under negotiation.

This comes on the heels of the completion of Northwood Middle School, which voters supported through a 2015 bond. Rockefeller said the district needs even more room to keep up with the growing community.

“We can fill these schools out right now. So, what we are trying to do is take care of about half the situation or problem that we foresee coming to us by 2025.

The tax rate for the proposed bond is $1.05 per $1,000 of assessed value. That’s a price Bodine said she’s happy to pay for her kid’s education.

“I’m super supportive of the bond. I mean, you can’t really stop growth from coming in and it’s great to be proactive about it and make sure there is going to be room for new students coming into the district,” Bodine said.

Ballots need to be returned by February 13.