The Longview School District could ask the public for anywhere between $95 million and about $124 million in November to pay for new and refurbished schools.
Longview School Board members, with member J.D. Rossetti absent, discussed for three hours Monday which school facilities projects to make a priority and how much spending the public will support.
Three possible bond scenarios came out of Monday’s discussion, which will be up for a vote at a future board meeting.
The least expensive scenario is around $95 million. It would include districtwide safety and security upgrades and replacing Mint Valley and Northlake elementaries. It also would relocating the Broadway Learning Center (with or without Head Start, which now shares the building with the district’s 100-student preschool). The first three projects total about $80 million.
The middle-range scenario carries a $109 million price tag. It would be identical to the low-cost option but would include replacing a third elementary, Olympic Elementary School. Broadway would not be addressed.
The third, most costly option would cost upward of $124 million: It would include all the projects from option two, while also including a relocation of the Broadway Learning Center.
This came after a priority-making session where board members “voted” on which projects they’d like to see addressed first. At the top of the list were safety and security updates, replacing Mint Valley and replacing Northlake. The district’s facility study found that those two elementaries have the most shortcomings.
The board tied on what should come next though. The board agreed that replacing Olympic Elementary, expanding Kessler elementary and relocating and replacing Broadway all warranted equal amounts of consideration.
“We can’t do it all, and there’s going to be a need that is left,” Superintendent Dan Zorn said. “We’re going to have to find out how to make this work.”
At this point the school board is putting put off discussion of merging or reburbishing the district’s two high schools.