Thanks to a major donation, the school district has reduced by $1 million the amount it is asking voters to approve in an election in February for school construction and renovation.
In a special meeting Friday morning, donor family members watched as the School Board accepted a $1 million donation from the Jeff and Linda Hendricks Family Foundation to help offset costs of the upcoming bond.
The Hendricks family made the donation to show their strong support for a new high school and the learning of all Anacortes children, according to School Superintendent Mark Wenzel. Middle school leadership students in the audience cheered as the announcement was made.
“Linda and I believe that the future of our community and nation is in the hands of our children, and education is one of the key things we can do to ensure their success,” Jeff Hendricks said in a press release.
“In making this donation we wanted to do something directly that would help them achieve that success, and we consider it a privilege to do so. We also wanted to encourage our neighbors to share the dream that the children of Anacortes have the absolutely best possible public education available anywhere in the country, and in the process look favorably on the upcoming school district bond issue.”
The School Board approved a revised bond document which reduces the amount the district will bring to voters in the February 10 election by $1 million, fringing the revised amount to $86.9 million.
The school district expects an additional $1.9 million in state funds for the project.
The project will allow the school district to make these improvements, according to the official bond request:
- Acquire, construct and equip an addition to Anacortes High School to replace approximately 60% of the existing High School;
- Renovate the remaining portion of Anacortes High School, including Brodniak Hall, music rooms and the existing gymnasium;
- Upgrades to Rice Field, including turf, bleachers, lights, practice fields, concession areas and restrooms;
- Replace roofs at Fidalgo and Mount Erie Elementary Schools; and
- Undertake safety improvements at District schools, including modifications to elementary school entryways.
Two earlier votes failed to win the required 60-percent approval vote. One in 2007 was for $60-million, with $51-million earmarked for the high school. Another bond request in 2008 for an even higher amount, $63-million, also failed.
Photo courtesy Anacortes School District.