Colfax’s New Bond Aims to Renovate Schools

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A new bond will be on the February ballot for the City of Colfax. the bond is for major renovations within the school district, and officials say the time for change is now.

"If you let things go, there comes a point of no return. We've maintained the buildings well, but they're tired. It's time for us to give them some attention," says Colfax School District superintendent Jerry Pugh.

Colfax Junior/Senior High School and Jennings Elementary School are outdated and are in need of major repairs.

"Our flooring is asbestos covered by carpet. It's really pushed us into a corner with our maintenance people where we need to replace our carpet. We can't just bring it up because the asbestos comes up with it so there's a big abatement cost."

The problem isn't just with flooring.

"Classrooms are outdated. As I arrived three years ago, there were shower boards instead of whiteboards in the classrooms and as I went to say well we need to rectify that, we found that there was asbestos behind the blackboards, and we can't even remove that without a major cost."

The bond the school district is proposing is a 20 year, $18.9-million-dollar plan. It would cost $2.63 per $1,000 of property value. That value would work towards almost two dozen different projects, including renovating gymnasiums, auditoriums, and other safety upgrades.

"If you have water seeping in, it's not a good thing, it's not safe. A lot of bad things can happen from water damage."

For the schools, the bond is the only way they see their problems getting fixed.

"There is no plan B. We can't make a move because there's asbestos. What we're asking from our community is what we really need."

But despite only one plan, Superintendent Jerry Pugh says it all needs to come back to the students.

"They need an environment that's conducive to learning, and staff need an environment conducive to teaching."

The bond measure will come to a vote on February 13th. For more information on the bond go to www.colfax.k12.wa.us

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