Clarkston School Bond is about Upgrading, Not Rebuilding
CLARKSTON, WA —
In March of 2017, many in the Lewiston School District celebrated a victory. Voters approved a nearly $60 million bond to build a brand new high school.
Of all the decisions before Clarkston voters this November, perhaps the biggest is whether or not to approve a similar bond for their school district.
Superintendent Tim Winter says, "It's a $60.5 million bond that includes a rebuild of Clarkston High School as well as other district-wide projects."
The bond will provide funding for interior upgrades in every Clarkston school, as well as security upgrades at Parkway, covered walkways at Highland, and more storage at Lincoln Middle School.
But the main focus is Clarkston High.
Winter says, "Our school is from the 1950's. We are trying to upgrade so that our students and teachers have a 21st century learning environment."
Instead of tearing down and rebuilding, the district wants to bring the facilities up to date while still keeping some of the more iconic features.
"The proposal of the new plan is built around the Adams building and the auditorium, so those buildings will stay, as will the T building that's on campus. The rest of the campus will be remodeled," Winter says,
The plan is to have the entire campus under one roof, decreasing entrances from over 40 to just five. The proposal also includes a strong focus on vocational programs and updated athletic venues. All these projects will be paid for over 25 years.
Winter says, "Breaks down to $2.49 per $1,000 of assessed value. So for the average homeowner, a $200,000 house, it's a little over $41 per month."
Similar measures have come up for Clarkston before. In 2011 and 2014, school bonds failed.
Winter knows some people believe Clarkston is just trying to grab onto Lewiston's coat tails after their bond passage. He says, "It's not that they have one, we need one. It's more of just what's best for our community and what's best for our valley. And I think our kids deserve that."
There is no organized movement opposing this bond. The election is November 7th and is a mail-in ballot election for Asotin County voters.