It’s time to put your schools ballot in the mail or drop box

lpemberton@theolympian.comFebruary 11, 2014 

Braving a cold and biting steady rain during the Monday evening rush hour Timberline High School cheerleaders join other North Thurston School District levy supporters at the intersection of Ruddell and Mullen roads to encourage passing motorists to vote on the eve of Election Day.


It’s Election Day for several school districts in Thurston County.

Ballots must either be postmarked by Tuesday or deposited into one of 23 permanent ballot drop boxes throughout the county, or the temporary drop box inside the Daniel J. Evans Library at The Evergreen State College.

For information about drop boxes locations, call 360-786-5408 or go to

Some school districts have additional taxes they collect for bonds or other previously approved measures. School levy measures require a simple majority (50 percent plus one “yes” vote) for passage; school bond measures require a super majority (60 percent plus one “yes” vote).

Here’s a rundown of the school levy and bond measures on Thurston County’s ballot:

 • North Thurston Public Schools is requesting a 20-year, $175 million construction bond measure to upgrade or modernize five schools, build a new middle school and make districtwide improvements. If approved, it would increase the district’s tax by about 59 cents per $1,000 assessed value, according to superintendent Raj Manhas. For more information, go to

 • Tenino School District is asking for a 25-year, $38 million bond to expand and renovate Tenino Elementary and Tenino Middle schools. If approved, the district also would construct a second high school gym, improve athletic facilities and upgrade technology infrastructure. The bond would cost homeowners about $2.83 per $1,000 assessed value of their home, according to the district’s website. It also could leverage about $9.7 million in matching funds. For more information, go to

 • Griffin School District has a two-year, just over $4.5 million school programs and operations levy on the ballot. If approved, the rate would be about $2.52 per $1,000 assessed value during the first year and $2.54 per $1,000 in 2016. For more information, go to

 • Olympia School District is asking voters for a four-year, $13.2 million levy to fund technology and school safety projects. The levy would cost about 62 cents per $1,000 of assessed value in 2015, 44 cents per $1,000 in 2016, 35 cents per $1,000 in 2017 and 34 cents per $1,000 by 2018.

For more information, go to

 • Tumwater School District has a 20-year, $136 million bond measure on the ballot to replace two elementary schools, expand its middle schools and make other improvements around the district. The district plans to stagger its projects and has bonds that will expire soon. As a result, the district will be able to maintain its taxing authority to about $5.94 per $1,000 for the bond and existing levy, if the measure passes, according to superintendent Mike Kirby.

For more information, go to

 • Centralia School District is asking for a four-year, $22.5 million maintenance and operations levy to support education programs. The average rate will be $3.043 per $1,000 assessed value through 2018. Most of the district’s residents live in Lewis County; however a few are within Thurston County. For more information, go to

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 @Lisa_Pemberton

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