Bridgeport voters support school levy

By Karen Larsen

Bridgeport School District voters showed strong support for a capital levy placed on the special election ballot Feb. 10. According to the Douglas County Auditor’s website, the measure was passing by 64.72 percent among eligible voters in Douglas and Okanogan counties as of Feb. 10.

“Sixty-four percent is a great number,” said district superintendent Scott Sattler. “We’re thankful to the community.”

Sattler said that the district will begin fixing the leaking roofs of four portable buildings this summer. One of these buildings has been out of use because of mold and air quality issues. The district will also need to do some work inside to make it safe for use again. He said the district is hoping to be able to use the existing buildings again in the fall. This will bring all the elementary students out of middle school and high school classrooms, where some are temporarily housed, and back into the elementary school.

The district is planning to purchase one new portable with first-year levy money in 2016 and another with second-year money in 2017. Sattler said the district will be shopping around for portables and looking for ones that are slightly used to save on costs. Each of the two portables will add two new classrooms, helping the district accommodate a growing student population.

“This is a tremendous help. It will get us by for a while,” Sattler said. The district tried twice last year to pass a $3.9 million 18-year bond that would have paid for the construction of a new elementary school addition. It was unable to gather the three-fifths majority required for passing a bond. The district responded by downsizing its plans, as well as the amount of money it sought from voters this year.

The levy will raise $1.55 per $1,000 of assessed value per year, for a total of $410,000.