Building and school improvement projects can officially get underway in the Highline and Renton school districts after two bond issues up for approval in the November election received a certified supermajority of yes votes.
King County election officials verified that 68.84% of voters approved Highline’s $518.4 million bond request. Renton’s $676 million bond request received approval from 64.32% of voters. Both school districts needed a 60% supermajority for their ballot measures to pass.
Highline will move forward on three school building projects, with new Evergreen and Tyee high schools expected to open in fall 2025, and a new Pacific Middle School slated for a fall 2027 opening. Architects began designing these schools in fall 2019, and the district has filed for building permits.
“We will be able to start moving ground for Evergreen pretty quickly because we will be building on-site while students are in [the current] building,” Highline spokeswoman Catherine Carbone Rogers said. Construction will begin on the northeast corner of campus.
Students will be sent to the district’s Olympic Interim School next fall when Tyee construction is expected to begin. The Highline bond total also includes $17 million in estimated building upgrades and repairs across the district, including the installation of a synthetic turf field at Sylvester Middle School.
For updates, visit highlineschools.org.
Renton will continue to make upgrades and repairs to heating and cooling systems, earthquake safety and building security across the district’s campuses. The bond approval gives the district the green light to plan and purchase up to 40 acres for a new home for Renton High School and construct a new building. School district spokesman Randy Matheson said the district is working to structure the sale of bonds “at a time that is market-driven,” a process that can take a few months.
The district continues to work on the construction of a new Renton Highlands elementary school approved by voters in 2019. The Renton School Board voted to name it Hilltop Heritage Elementary, “intended to encompass the rich history of the area, including Native peoples, the first Black families to settle in Renton, and the culturally rich communities of families who currently live in the area, and those yet to come,” according to the district’s website.
As part of the process for opening Hilltop Heritage in fall 2023, a committee of parents and district staff are working to redraw boundaries for the district’s elementary schools, including Hazelwood, Highlands, Honey Dew, Kennydale, Maplewood Heights, and Sierra Heights.
For updates, visit rentonschools.us.
Both the Renton and Highline school district bonds will be repaid with interest through annual property taxes over a term not to exceed 21 years.