Sammamish Forum April 9

April 9, 2014

By Contributed

Reasons to vote for Lake Washington Bond

1. According to a study by the Partnership for Learning, Washington is the nation’s No. 1 STEM economy and has the highest number of STEM jobs in the United States. Yet, the state ranks 49th out of 50 states in the mismatch between the skills required for the available jobs and individuals with those skills.

Vote “yes” – to build a second STEM school in the school district

2. Do you want to see your child in a class where the teacher has to divide her attention between approximately 30 students, if not more, while still trying to accomplish the curriculum?

Vote “yes” – to allow the school district to build and expand schools

3. Let’s face it, none of us want to see our children being educated in portables. Does it make sense to spend app. $300,000 per portable for makeshift classroom space for the approximately 4,000 students that are projected to enroll in LWSD instead of investing in permanent and safer classrooms for our children?

Vote “yes” – to allow the school district to invest in high quality and sustainable learning environments

4. A 2010 study published by the National Science Foundation revealed that

a. Students who learn more in Kindergarten learn more as adults. They are also more successful overall

b. Kindergarten interventions matter a great deal for long-term outcomes.

c. Being in a smaller class for two years increases the probability of attending college by 2 percent.

Vote “yes” – to keep our full day Kindergartens

5. How would our lives be impacted if LWSD shifted to Year Round School with multiple shifts where students got a couple of weeks off every 2-3 months. Childcare, scheduling, the ability of high school students to find a summer employment and access to remedial or supplemental classes during the summer time will all be impacted.

Vote “yes” – to prevent such scenarios and continue the traditional school year

Please join me and vote ‘yes’ on the LWSD bond by Apr 22.


Archana Sunil



Bond request is


In Response to the Letter from Michael Sullivan “Vote No on Bond”

I would like to respond specifically to the assertions that Mr. Sullivan made in his letter to the editor:

Demolition vs. modernization. This is the great misconception that continues to be perpetuated. It is less expensive over time to rebuild than modernize. The district has, for many years, worked to make existing facilities usable. Our older schools, however, cannot be brought up to current safety, building and educational standards, and “modernization” of these buildings is throwing good money after bad.

Ensuring that we have the best facilities for our students enables better teaching and learning, minimizes environmental impact, and allows for the best use of technology. And isn’t that what we want for our children?

Splitting the bond into two parts. Yes, this is exactly what the district chose to do, specifically to ensure that we have space for students in the immediate future.

The district chose to prioritize new building, and ensure Om ikke det er gode nyheter, sa vet ikke vi!Casinofloor er et nyoppstartet casino pa nett som virkelig skiller seg ut i mengden. that every child at least has a desk. It makes absolutely no sense to vote against a bond measure that primarily involves new schools – and the rebuilding of Juanita High School, which anyone who has ever set foot in the building would understand needs to be torn down and rebuilt.

No matter what your definition of “necessary” includes, certainly a seat for every child is within it. We must vote “yes” for this bond to ensure that the district doesn’t have to resort to desperate measures, possibly including reducing or eliminating all-day kindergarten, double-shifting schools, adding more portables, changing the school year calendar or busing children miles from home.

You talk about “repairs” to existing schools. Please understand that the district repairs schools all of the time. We are not talking about tearing down buildings that need a new roof. We are talking about replacing buildings that are no longer functional.

I strongly encourage all voters to ignore the hyperbole and rhetoric. The April 22 bond measure simply must be passed in order to adequately educate all of our children.


Anne Holmdahl and Julie Olson



Community Center

is too much

We recently moved into our Sammamish home, built over the past five years. During construction we agonized over every expenditure, researching to determine the scope of the work, reviewing information and costs from other jobs at other sites.

Getting multiple estimates and often opting to do the job our self if the cost was excessive considering what the day laborers that would eventually do the real work were getting paid and the actual number of hours spent on the job. It was time well spent and allowed us to build a great home for a fair cost.

We postponed many costs, moving in with one functional bathroom, no final floors, doors or yard. In the process, I visited Sammamish City Hall many times as is normal for the permitting and other phases and was always in awe at the extravagance of the facilities and surrounding grounds. It is possibly the best piece of property in the city.

Since moving, we enjoy learning about our proud community in the Sammamish Review. However, we are always stunned at the financial numbers when there is mention of a city project.

In the fall there was the approval to build a Community Center for $35 Million instead for $30 Million with what appears to be no resistance.

It was the case again today; the city estimated the replacement of their 2006 Audio-Visual equipment for City Hall at $385,000, the price of a modest home. The ‘low $281,000 bid’ to replace projectors when you can get these at Best Buy for $3,000 and are trivial to install by consumers makes me shudder.

The next article reveals the city will spend $150,000 to study the creation of a new parking lot at Sammamish Landing Park. I fear what the actual cost will be.

We will have a 5-star spa/community center in addition to the brand new shrine to the printed word. Sammamish is a great town but we are getting fleeced in the rush to build these status symbols.

Thanks for reading, and remember to pay your property tax.


Alex Pfaffe


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One Response to “Sammamish Forum April 9”

  1. Michael Sullivan on April 9th, 2014 3:24 pm

    Since I was specifically called out by Anne and Julie, I’d like to take an opportunity to respond to their points.

    There is no ‘misconception’ that remodeling an existing school is cheaper than building a brand new one. This is an undisputed fact, backed up by administrators at Lake Washington themselves. LWSD’s own website states that a remodel costs 90% of what new construction would cost. Now I’d dispute whether or not the 90% figure is accurate, but please do not label this as ‘hyperbole and rhetoric.’ It’s fact, I’d encourage readers to do their own research and learn that themselves.

    Refurbishing a school is not ‘throwing good money after bad.’ I grew up in the New York suburbs – a number of school buildings there are celebrating 100-year anniversaries. These aren’t crumbling, failing schools either – they are some of the best in the entire state. If 40 year old buildings are literally not functional anymore, as this letter claims, then to me that’s a pretty damning indictment of how well LWSD has cared for them. Why should I trust them with my money now when other districts maintain their buildings for much longer periods?

    I have seen the figures that LWSD wants to spend per building and frankly I can’t fathom why they cost so much. Looking around at other bond issues around the country, they’re spending roughly $160 per square foot of space for their high schools. LWSD is proposing about $555 per square foot for Juanita High School. I find that disparity very troubling and I’d like to understand why it costs over 3 times as much per square foot to build a brand new Juanita High School as compared to the national average. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable question.

    If we truly want the best education for our children, get the best teachers. I have seen the pay charts at LWSD and they’re pitiful. Outright pitiful. Teachers in this district do not make enough money. I would MUCH rather see money go to teacher salaries than physical plants. That’s when you’ll start to see improvements in education.

    Finally, I find it interesting that this letter did not address two of my main points – that it is foolish to demolish existing capacity in light of a classroom shortage, and that the district is spending time and money on lobbying to eliminate the 60% supermajority required to pass bond measures. Ask yourselves: why did every other district on the Eastside have no trouble passing their bond, but Lake Washington did? I think those two points in combination are big reasons why it didn’t.

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