If passed, the bond would fund the construction of a new elementary school, help alleviate overcrowding, and provide additional classroom space for college, career and technical education programs
Ridgefield School District’s Board of Directors met in a special session on Thursday and voted unanimously to repeal and replace the proposed school construction bond in order to take advantage of additional state matching funds. By accepting the newly available additional funding from the state, the Ridgefield School District will still be able to fund the construction of all the previously announced projects while reducing the tax burden of local residents by more than $4.2 million.
“After passing our initial bond resolution, the state informed us that our community has qualified for additional assistance from the state’s matching funds program,” said Ridgefield School Board President Joe Vance. “We are pleased that the state is acknowledging the tremendous growth happening in Ridgefield and providing additional assistance funds should voters elect to pass the bond.”
Details of the bond proposal
If passed, the bond would fund the construction of a new elementary school, help alleviate overcrowding, and provide additional classroom space for college, career and technical education (CCTE) programs at Ridgefield High School. The bond will be listed as Proposition 7 on the Feb. 8, 2022 special election ballot and requires approval by a 60 percent supermajority to pass.
If approved, the now $62.565 million bond would fund the construction of a new 75,000 square foot K-4 elementary school that would open as a K-6 school to help alleviate overcrowding at the district’s existing elementary and intermediate schools. The bond would also fund an 18,000 square foot expansion at Ridgefield High School, featuring a new metal shop and classroom, eight general education classrooms, and space designated for future college, career and technical education (CCTE) classrooms.
According to the United States Census, Ridgefield’s city population more than doubled from 2010 to 2020, growing from 4,763 residents to 10,319. That is a 116.6 percent increase, and has led to record enrollments for the school district. Beyond the city limits, the total district population is now at 21,369 residents, making Ridgefield one of the fastest-growing cities in the region. In fact, Ridgefield has been tabbed as Washington’s fastest-growing city three times in recent years.
“People move to Ridgefield because of our great schools,” said Vance. “If our schools are going to remain one of Ridgefield’s greatest assets, then the community needs to come together to support this bond. Ridgefield has been rapidly growing and will continue to do so, and providing more classroom space is necessary for us to serve the current and future needs of Ridgefield’s students and families.”
Ridgefield residents are currently paying $3.19 per $1,000 of assessed home values in school taxes, which is the second-lowest school tax rate in all of Clark County. If voters approve the bond, collections would begin in 2023 with a projected rate of $3.44 per $1,000 in assessed home values, representing a projected rate increase of $0.25. With a median home value in Ridgefield of $562,000, the projected cost per year of funding these projects would be $140.50 per household per year, or $11.71 per month.
The new elementary school would be located at 7025 North 10th Street in Ridgefield and built on land the district already owns. Designs for the new school include an 8-plex classroom building that would provide much-needed additional instructional space. The site is permitted and ready to begin construction, and if approved by voters, the new elementary school would be on track to open in the Fall of 2023.
For more information, please visit www.ridgefieldsd.org/page/bond.
Information provided by Ridgefield School District.