2014 Bond FAQs
Will this Bond increase my taxes?
This bond proposes renewing the bond that built TMMS. Taxes will remain flat.In October 2014, the tax rate was $1.60/$1000 of home value. The bond that is being proposed will be at a rate of $1.60/$1000 of home value - not one penny more.
What is the budget for the projects?
Below is the projected budget for Black Diamond Elementary and Enumclaw High School as identified by BLRB Architect.
School Dollar Amount
Black Diamond Elementary $23,389,000
Enumclaw High School $63,353,300
The vision of the Board of Directors is to take care of the above needs while keeping taxes at the same rate. The current bond rate (October 2014) that built Thunder Mountain Middle School is $1.60 per $1,000 assessed valuation. Renewing this bond, keeping taxes flat, would generate $68,555,000. The Enumclaw School District also qualifies for $18.1 million in state construction match money for these projects. The total budget combining these two funding sources would be $86,655,000.
How did Enumclaw High School and Black Diamond Elementary School emerge on this bond?
The Board of Directors began discussion about the facility needs of the school district at their April 2014 retreat. They requested that the Capital Facilities Plan and the Study and Survey be updated. As a result of this work, Enumclaw High School and Black Diamond Elementary emerged as schools with the highest needs.
Is there a plan for how you will address the needs in other buildings?
There were facility needs identified in all buildings. It is the intention of the Board of Directors to focus on this comprehensive bond package first and then begin to prioritize the needs in other buildings. The Study and Survey also showed Southwood and Byron Kibler as having comprehensive needs.
Are there other school districts that are comprised of more than one city?
Yes. Boundaries of school districts and cities are often not the same. There are many schools in our area that have more than one city within their boundaries. A great example that parallels our own school district is the Sumner School District. The Sumner School District is comprised of the city of Sumner and the city of Bonney Lake.
What is the difference between a bond and a levy?
Bonds are for Building. Funds from bonds can only be used for construction or renovation of buildings and land purchases and are generally collected over a 15- to 20-year period (similar to a mortgage).
Levies are for Learning. Levies make up the difference between funding from the state and federal government and the actual cost of operating a school district. Levies pay for teaching materials and equipment, transportation, technology, and programs like athletics, drama and special education. Levy funds are typically collected over a two - to six-year time period and must be renewed.
What are you doing with J.J.Smith Elementary School?
Since 2005, J.J.Smith has not housed Enumclaw School District students. The Enumclaw School District has rented the facility to various groups and organizations since that time. J.J. Smith will receive ADA (American Disabilities Act) and facility upgrades necessary to house Black Diamond Elementary students and staff during the time the new Black Diamond Elementary is being constructed.
You recently asked the community for input on the board's vision for this bond. What were the results?
There were 3 questions asked:
1. I support the Enumclaw School District’s Board of Directors’ vision to address the facility needs at Enumclaw High School and Black Diamond Elementary School.
79.8% Strongly Agree/Agree
2. I would support a bond placed on the ballot with the Board of Directors' vision.
81.9% Strongly Agree/Agree
3. I would actively engage my family and friends in supporting this bond.
75.4% Strongly Agree/Agree
What will happen to the Eagle Scout Projects and memorial plaques that have been placed at both sites?
Our plans are to take care of all memorials and do our best to preserve any Eagle Scout projects at the two sites, as we know how important these are to our families and communities.
Black Diamond Students to attend J.J. Smith during construction of new Black Diamond Elementary School
What is the Board’s vision for Black Diamond Elementary?
The vision of the Enumclaw School District Board of Directors is to build a new, two-story Black Diamond Elementary School at the current location, replacing the aging structure and bringing students and staff together under one roof for a safe and uniform learning environment. The Black Diamond plan also includes federally mandated American Disabilities Act updates to J.J. Smith Elementary School to house Black Diamond students during construction.
Why do Black Diamond Elementary students need to be housed at J.J. Smith for one year?
The new Black Diamond Elementary will replace the existing school on the same site. The school sits on two parcels of land that were deeded to the Enumclaw School District by Palmer Coking Coal Company - one for a school site, where the current building is located, the other for recreational use, where the field, play area and baseball field sit. The new building will be constructed on the parcel designated for the school.
The estimated construction time is 12-15 months, which means an entire school year. J.J. Smith, having been an elementary school site, made this choice a solid answer as to where to house students during the construction period.
What is occurring at J.J. Smith right now?
Since moving to K-5 elementary schools in 2005, J.J. Smith has not been needed to house Enumclaw School District students. The Enumclaw School District is renting the facility to various groups and organizations As a result of renting the facility, J.J. Smith generates revenue for the Enumclaw School District.
What will happen to the current tenants?
We believe we can accommodate all current tenants. Locations may need to adjust during the year that Black Diamond Elementary is being built.
What will occur at J.J. Smith after the new Black Diamond Elementary has been built?
After the construction of Black Diamond Elementary, it will continue to be rented by various groups and organizations. The ADA upgrades will enhance the ability to rent the facility to continue generating revenue for the Enumclaw School District.
Does J. J. Smith need to receive upgrades prior to Black Diamond Elementary using it for a year?
Yes. J.J. Smith will receive ADA (American Disabilities Act) and facility upgrades necessary to house Black Diamond Elementary students and staff during the time the new Black Diamond Elementary is being constructed.
Is moving students to J.J. Smith the cheapest way to educate them during construction?
The Board of Directors explored the option of purchasing portables and placing them on the field at Black Diamond Elementary. The purchase and placement costs were more than double the cost of the ADA upgrades that would need to occur at J.J. Smith. Also, using portables in this manner would eliminate any access to a gym and playfield. Student drop-off, pick-up and safety would also be concerns during the construction year.
Is the reason that Black Diamond has been chosen to be rebuilt a result of the new developments occurring in the city of Black Diamond?
No. Results of the District’s recent extensive and comprehensive Study and Survey put Black Diamond Elementary School at the top of the list for replacement. This was based on the evaluation of the existing site, not the projection of potential growth due to the new developments.
Why aren’t you building on one of the elementary sites designated in the Comprehensive School Mitigation Agreement?
The elementary sites identified in the Comprehensive School Mitigation Agreement are to be used for increased enrollment due to the new housing developments.
Is it a common practice in other districts to house students in a previously unused building during construction?
Yes. Using another school district building to house students during construction has been done recently in the Sumner, Federal Way and Seattle School Districts.
Isn’t this a long bus ride for students?
J.J. Smith is seven miles south of Black Diamond Elementary. Our transportation department will do their best to route students efficiently from Black Diamond to J.J. Smith, but because of the increased mileage, the time students are on busses will also increase.
Will Black Diamond Elementary students ride the same bus as middle and high school students when they are housed at J.J. Smith??
Black Diamond Elementary students will continue to ride separate bus routes from secondary students. This is due, in part, because of the different school start times between elementary and secondary schools.
How do staff members at Black Diamond Elementary feel about being at J.J. Smith for a year?
Black Diamond Elementary staff members strongly appreciate having the structure of school including a gym and playground area. They strongly support the use of J.J. Smith during construction and have embraced this learning adventure for one year.
Do you have photographs of Black Diamond facility needs identified through the Study and Survey?
Yes. Please go the following link:
What exactly will occur at EHS?
The vision of the Enumclaw School District Board of Directors is to erect a two-story, secure and enclosed, structure on the south side of the Enumclaw High School campus that would replace aging classrooms, the library, science labs, music facility, auditorium and gymnasium. This replacement structure would dovetail into the remodeled commons, offices, and art and automotive wing (remodeled in 2000) creating a more secure facility for students, guests and staff.
The new structure, which would cover the area south of the commons and courtyard, would have just three main entrances and additional parking, making it more accessible to the community for events while also providing more security. The 143,000-square-foot addition would also include science labs, weight and locker rooms, a music facility and centralized library. This would be similar to high school buildings currently being built in the neighboring Auburn and Tahoma school districts to create a safe learning environment.
How many outside doors enter right into classrooms or campus at Enumclaw High School? How will this bond change that?
Currently, there are over 70 entrances at Enumclaw High School. After the construction of the new EHS structure, there will be three main entrances into the building.
How will students be housed during construction?
The two-year plan would call for the work to be completed in phases to keep students on site during construction. In each phase, students will be housed in a combination of parts of the building not under construction and portables on the high school campus.
Do you have photographs of EHS facility needs identified through the Study and Survey?
Yes. Please go the following link: