North Sound News

Marysville School District's $230 million bond fails

MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A $230 million bond for the Marysville School District has failed, and district officials say that means kids will have to continue going to class in buildings with poor heating and cooling, leaky roofs, and outdated technology.

Marysville hasn't had a bond pass in 10 years.  Some of the schools in the district are more than 65 years old.

"I was devastated and heartbroken,” explained Christen Dickerson.  For a year she worked the Citizens for Marysville Schools committee like a full-time job -- for free.  The payday was supposed to be for the school district she loves.

"I've been in Marysville my whole life and come from a long line of people who have gone to Marysville,” Christen told us.

Now her kids go there.  Christen and Jessica Compise-- who also has kids at Liberty Elementary School, one of the oldest buildings in the district -- say those kids deserve better.

"There's no temperature regulation within the classrooms so the teachers do their best, some days they turn the lights off, bring popsicles” Jessica said.

The district put together a video to show the need for a $230 million bond.  There are leaky roofs and unsafe flooring; four schools need to be rebuilt, and Totem Middle School is so rundown that kids were going to be moved to a brand new one.  Christen tried to get the word out.

"We did meetings district wide where parents could come and ask questions and we had three parents show up,” she said.

It’s been hard; the bond needed 60 percent support to pass and got just over 50 percent.

"Disappointed for sure but my resolve is strong and the need didn't go away last night,” Superintendent Becky Berg explained of her reaction to the results.

Berg says it’s up to the school board whether to try for another bond, but Christen and Jessica don't plan on dissolving the committee.

"The heart is there," Jessica concluded.

One of the schools that is in need of rebuilding is Marysville-Pilchuck High School. It will still get a new cafeteria though because that's covered by federal money.  Groundbreaking on that project is Friday.