The Castle Rock School Board Tuesday night is expected to ask voters to approve a $42.4 million bond to build a new middle school.

It is likely the largest bond measure the district has ever sought.

Voters will decide on the measure in an April 24 special election.

In addition to building a new middle school adjacent to the high school, the bond would finance renovations at the elementary and high schools and safety and technology upgrades.

If approved, the bond would cost property owners an estimated $2.90 per $1,000 of assessed value, or $580 annually for 25 years on a $200,000 home.

Superintendent Jim Mabbott said the middle school has been examined by several experts and groups who agree that it is “well beyond its lifespan.”

“It would cost us more to renovate than to build a new school,” he said.

The middle school is now located off downtown, but district voters in November overwhelmingly preferred that the new school be located near the high school, which is located on the west side of the Cowlitz River.

Mabbott noted that one of the advantages of the new location is that it will be easier to share staff and facilities among the two schools.

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