School bond measures in Snohomish County are not faring well

EDMONDS, Wash. --  Many school bond measures across Pierce and King County are passing after Tuesday's election, but it's a different story in Snohomish County.

As of Wednesday, voters in the county were rejecting big bond measures in several districts including Snohomish, Mukilteo, Everett and Edmonds.

At Spruce Elementary, they make the most of a cramped space.

“It’s old and worn out but it’s horrendously overcrowded,” Capital Projects Director Edward Peters with Edmonds School District  said.

Jolene Finch has a son in one of five portables.

“If they need something as simple as some water they lose class time walking to another building,” Finch said.

That’s why volunteer Maurice Tolbert was making a water jug delivery on Wednesday.

“So the kids have access to some quality drinking water,” Tolbert said.

As Maurice does his part, the Edmonds School district was hoping the latest bond in front of voters would be the answer for Spruce and at least six other needy schools.

“Every bond elections and levy for the last 15 years has been successful,” Peters said.

But this time, a $600 million bond is not expected to garner the 60 percent supermajority to pass and it’s leaving the elementary school that is currently under construction in limbo.

About half of the school is built, paid for by older bond funds. The other half remains unfinished since the district was relying on this year’s bond.

“It was so much more cost-effective, we saved millions of dollars by building this much rather than waiting,” Peters said.

The district says it was collectively a district and community decision to go ahead with the construction even without the total funds in hand.

The students did finally get a cafeteria and space for things like a music room and a brand new gym.

But the construction so far has not built any new classroom space.

For now, Spruce Elementary will stay overcrowded and Finch says she will fight to change that in time for the next bond measure.

"Educating and social media is always a great way and urging people in the community that school is not just about the school it`s about the students, there are a lot of community events that happen at the school," Finch said.

Besides the bond, a levy for the school district is passing. It's a $96 million technology and capital levy.