Superintendent’s Message: Capital Projects Bond Coming in August

Lynden is a growing community attractive to families who are expecting strong schools and a safe place to raise their children. The district, with collaboration from community members and staff, has developed a plan to address past, present, and future enrollment growth and make necessary improvements in our schools to serve the children of Lynden in safe and adequate facilities for the next two decades and beyond.

At its April meeting, the Lynden School Board approved a resolution to place a Capital Projects Bond on the August 6, 2024, ballot. This is a re-run of the measure placed before voters in the February election, which a majority of voters approved but did not reach the 60% approval required for bonds to pass.

Funding from this bond measure would allow the district to address current capacity issues and plan for future growth. In addition to rebuilding Lynden High School, the bond would provide funding to add permanent classrooms and remove portables at Isom and Vossbeck Elementary schools, create permanent early learning space, and make other citizen-identified infrastructure and safety updates around the district to support students, staff, and the community for the next 20 years.

In the February election, the community approved a renewal of our Educational Programs and Operations levy. This levy funds staff, academic programs, and activities not funded by the state. We are so thankful for your support. School districts across the state must ask voters to approve local tax measures to receive funding for school construction, renovations, and major maintenance projects which are also not funded by the state. We continue to be mindful of the commercial and industrial growth occurring in the west part of Lynden, which can help reduce taxes for homeowners. The district has worked with a financial management organization to structure a collection schedule that values stability and could potentially decrease as more properties and businesses are built in our area.

Citizens of Lynden, whether retired and on a fixed income or in the workforce making an honest day’s wage, place a high value on hard work and responsible spending. As the superintendent and a member of this community, I want to reiterate that I understand the significance of this financial ask. Studies of our school facilities by informed citizens groups and enrollment projections indicate that the need for updated buildings and additional classroom space will only increase, along with the cost of construction. We are making this request of our community to address our highest needs in our school buildings. Value is placed on practicality, not extravagance, and accountability of spending assured through a citizen-led Bond Oversight Committee.

The cost of this construction project is estimated at $1.36 per $1,000 of assessed property value. A property owner with a current assessed value of $500,000 would pay $680 per year for this investment. The amount of money collected by the district is a set amount and does not increase as the valuation of total taxable property increases.

Please find more information on our website, at an upcoming community meeting, or by reaching out to me directly.

— Superintendent David VanderYacht