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Moses Lake school bond passes... barely

by Charles H. Featherstone Staff Writer
| February 27, 2017 2:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — Moses Lake is going to get a new high school and a new elementary school.

Voters in the Moses Lake School District passed — narrowly — a $135 million school construction bond with 60.03 percent of the vote, a narrow three-vote victory. The bond referendum was certified by the Grant County auditor on Friday.

“I’m relieved,” said Assistant Superintendent Josh Meek, who will become the district’s new superintendent in July.

The bond measure aims to alleviate overcrowding in the Moses Lake schools by building a new high school, a new elementary school, and refurbishing the existing high school.

“This is about our kids, and the future of our community,” said Michelle Price, current superintendent of the Moses Lake schools.

At a regular school board meeting Thursday evening, the Moses Lake School Board voted unanimously to rerun the bond measure in April just in case the measure failed to find the handful of votes needed to pass or voters sought to challenge the election outcome.

“We need to pass this irregardless,” said board president Kevin Donovan.

“This could possibly be challenged,” added board member Eric Stones.

While the county has certified the bond election, concerned voters have until the end of Tuesday to challenge the results and demand a recount. If the election outcome remains unchanged or unchallenged, Price told the board they could call an emergency meeting later and rescind the resolution for an April election.

Price also told the school board Thursday that the school year in Moses Lake is going to be extended to Friday, June 16, in order to cover days missed due to the cold and ice.

“We’re looking to figure out when to plug in the other times,” Price said.

Students in Moses Lake have missed nearly 10 days of school due to winter weather, and have to receive a minimum of 1,027 hours of instruction in an academic year in order to meet minimum state standards. Originally, the school year had been extended to June 15.

But with the end of winter seemingly on the horizon, Price was guardedly confident that school could resume uninterrupted.

“Hopefully there will be no more bad weather,” she said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at countygvt@columbiabasinherald.com