Voters reject plan for new Chelan high school

Source: The Wenatchee World


CHELAN — Voters in the Lake Chelan School District soundly rejected at $75.5 million bond proposal at the polls Tuesday, with a 57-percent “no” vote.

The measure would have paid for a new high school, turn the existing high school into a middle school and renovate the elementary school and sports fields.

Of the 2,210 ballots tallied Tuesday night, 1,263 were cast against and 947 votes were for the proposal. That includes the early results from voters in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties.

The measure required a 60 percent “yes” vote to pass.

Critics of the proposal, including former school Superintendent Jim Busey, questioned the need for the new high school, saying enrollment projections don’t justify the call for additional space. They also questioned the need for the other projects in schools that recently had been updated.

The spending breakout showed the high school piece of the project would cost $59 million, with $5.5 million for the elementary school remodel, $3.5 million to convert the middle school and $7 million for the new sports fields.

Supporters of the project, through the website, said the projects would create modern learning spaces to meet students’ academic and career-training needs.

The pro-bond citizen group registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission March 16 as LCSD-Citizens for the Bond Committee. According to the reports, the group raised $10,576 from Dec. 1 through April 19 from 45 contributors and had spent about $6,583 of that, mostly on radio advertising, Facebook and signs, as of the April 19 report.

Of those who contributed, the largest donors were:

  • Coldwell Banker Lake Chelan Properties ($2,500)
  • CBRE Heery, an Atlanta, Georgia-based architect firm, ($1,000)
  • Sundance Slope LLC of Manson, $699
  • Rhett Crow of Chelan, $699
  • Britt Hawkins and Troy Hawkins, $699 each
  • Chelan Athletic Booster Club, $500
  • Jim Colbert Orchards, $500