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Two Whatcom County school districts will run bonds on November ballot 

Meridian, Blaine both seek funding to rebuild, renovate middle schools

A proposed bond would rebuild Meridian Middle School, among other district-wide improvements. (Eric Becker/Cascadia Daily News)
By Charlotte Alden General Assignment/Enterprise Reporter

Two Whatcom County school districts will ask voters on the November ballot to approve bonds that will fund the rebuild and repair of facilities. 

Meridian School District will seek a $75-million bond to rebuild its middle school, install a generator in the high school and conduct other repairs, while Blaine School District will be rerunning a $70-million bond that fell short of the needed supermajority of 60% votes in favor to rebuild its middle school and make other upgrades.

Meridian bond 

The Meridian School Board approved a resolution Wednesday, June 26 to place the $75 million, 20-year bond measure on the November ballot to complete four projects: build a new middle school, install a generator in Meridian High School, and repair and upgrade the Performing Arts Center and the Varsity Athletic Stadium at the high school. 

The tax rate would be $1.38 per $1,000 in assessed value. For a person with a $550,000 property, this would cost $759 per year and $63.25 per month. Like with all bond measures, if property values rise, the tax rate would adjust accordingly to ensure the district collects no more than the $75 million approved by voters.

Robert Kratzig, a member of the Meridian Citizens for Education Committee, said at a June 12 Meridian School Board meeting that the middle school functions as a community hub and needs significant upgrades. 

“The facility gets used all weekend long, all summer long,” he said. “It’s a place that our organizations and our community members can gather.” 

The construction of a new middle school is expected to cost $86.92 million, according to a Meridian Citizens for Education Committee school board presentation, but with $16 million expected in funding from the state, the bond asks for less than the full cost of the construction. It would be built on the same property as the existing middle school, Superintendent James Everett said after the June 26 board meeting. Fifth-graders who currently attend Irene Reither Elementary would be moved into the new middle school once it opens in 2028, if the bond is approved.

The generator will cost the district $400,000, while repairs to the Performing Arts Center will cost $2.18 million, and the stadium repairs $1.5 million, according to the committee’s presentation. 

Blaine bond 

The Blaine School District is rerunning a $70-million bond that fell short of passing in the February special election, garnering 54.7% yes votes, when 60% was needed to pass the bond. 

Approved at a school board meeting on June 17, the bond is very similar to the one put on the ballot in February, but the new measure asks for a 20-year bond. The original request was for a 25-year bond.  

The tax rate would be 76 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value. A home worth $500,000 in 2025 could expect to pay roughly $380 a year. 

A Zervas rendering of how the new Blaine Middle School could look if voters approve a $70-million bond. (Image courtesy of Blaine School District)

If passed, the bond will fund major renovations to Blaine Middle School, upgrades and additions to the Pipeline Athletic Complex, improvements to Blaine primary and elementary schools, improvements to Point Roberts Primary School, campus-wide electrical and mechanical upgrades, and improvements and designs for the future Birch Bay school. 

Superintendent Christopher Granger said June 26 that one project was added to the plan: covering the tennis courts at the elementary school to provide another outdoor space for physical education.

Granger said there was a lot of “misinformation” during the February election, and since, the district has been working to get out accurate information about the bond. 

“We’re continuing to educate people that the bond is for building, it doesn’t have anything to do with the balancing of the budget,” he said. 

Granger said it’s important the measure passes so Blaine can build a school that meets the “educational needs” of students. 

The district will host its first community information session about the bond at Birch Bay Bible Community Church at 4460 Bay Road in Blaine at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 27. 

Charlotte Alden is CDN’s general assignment/enterprise reporter; reach her at; 360-922-3090 ext. 123.

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