A $120 million levy for the Lake Washington School District was passing with 54 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s special election early returns.
If approved, the levy would pay for new classrooms at five schools, expanded common areas and gym space at Lake Washington High School, adding exterior cameras at all elementary schools and remodeling entryways for greater security. The construction projects would add space for 1,502 students.
More than a dozen state lawmakers and city and county leaders endorsed the measure. Opponents, however, questioned the planned projects list, saying the district hasn’t done enough to address a projected increase in enrollment.
The six-year measure would generate $20 million annually, with a levy rate between 25 to 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Levies require a majority approval to pass.
A $345 million bond to pay for upgrades at Kirkland’s EvergreenHealth Medical Center was failing with 57 percent of the 46,785 votes counted Tuesday. Bonds require a 60-percent approval rate with a minimum turnout of 56,283 voters.
The 20-year bond would fund a new critical-care unit, an updated maternity ward and work to retrofit the original hospital building. Costs for seismic upgrades account for about half the bond investments; Hospital officials say retrofitting is required to help the facility withstand a strong earthquake.
If approved, a homeowner in the hospital district – which includes Kirkland, Kenmore, Redmond, Woodinville, Sammamish, Duvall and Carnation – would pay an average of 18 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value annually over 20 years.
In Snohomish County, a measure to increase the levy rate for EvergreenHealth Monroe was failing with 41 percent of the vote.
The hospital hopes to bring back a maternity ward that’s been shuttered for eight years, upgrade equipment and transition the hospital to an electronic-medical record system.
Without the maternity ward, women in the area have to travel an hour or more to give birth. Some end up giving birth in the Monroe hospital’s emergency room. If the levy is approved, the new maternity ward would be the only one of its kind from Monroe to Wenatchee.
A homeowner would pay 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of 20 cents from the current levy rate.
If the levy is rejected, the hospital says opening the maternity ward will still remain on its priority list for future projects.
Election results in King and Snohomish counties will be updated Wednesday afternoon.