Business

Business group endorses school bond

The Federal Way Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors has endorsed the $245 million school construction bond measure that Federal Way Public Schools will place before voters Feb. 7.

The bond is crucial to providing a strong school system favored by companies and people when deciding whether to move into a community, said Susan Streifel, board chairwoman of the business group.

“It is our board’s belief that by passing this bond measure, the necessary infrastructure will be in place to support the educational needs of our children,” said Streifel, who is president of Woodstone Credit Union. “A strong school system supports the business community by producing tomorrow’s educated work force.”

If approved, the bond measure would provide taxpayer-supported funding to replace six schools, including Federal Way High School, Lakota Middle School and Lakeland, Valhalla, Sunnycrest and Panther Lake elementary schools.

The bond would also fund the consolidation of district support services into a centrally-located facility, the replacement of Federal Way Memorial Stadium and the construction of a 900-seat performing arts center and an environmental education center. The latter would be by Sequoyah Middle School and Five Mile Lake.

The chamber board noted that according to the King County assessor, in 2005 the average home value within the Federal Way school district was $225,600. The cost of the proposed bond for a home of that value would be $124 per year, or $10.33 per month. The total district tax burden –– including existing bonds and levies -–– to the homeowner of such a house would be $1,094 per year ($4.85 per $1,000 of assessed valuation).

Federal Way schools’ tax rate is lower than the average in five neighboring districts, officials said.

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