Ridgefield School District bond currently fails for fifth time

The $62.5 million bond would fund a new elementary school and the expansion of Ridgefield High School.

RIDGEFIELD, Wash. — For the fifth time in three years, residents of the Ridgefield School District are voting on a bond.

If approved, the bond would fund a new 75,000 square foot elementary school to alleviate some of the district’s overcrowding. It would also fund an 18,000 square foot expansion at Ridgefield High School.

On Monday, the bond appeared to fall short of the mark needed to pass. Sixty percent of the votes must be in favour, and the tally Monday night was just over 59%.

District spokesman Joe Vajgrt said if the bond does not pass, adjustments will have to be made.

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“Union Ridge should have 900 students and South Ridge should have about 625,” Vajgart said. “One of the first things would be to balance enrollment at these schools, which means adjusting enrollment limits.”

The district could also consider long-term options like an am-pm or year-round setup for elementary students, he said, though that won’t happen in the current school year.

The new schools are needed because Ridgefield’s population doubled from 2010 to 2020, according to the district.

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“The problem we’re having now is that we just don’t have any more class space,” Vajgart said. “We have nowhere to put these extra students, we don’t have extra classrooms.”

The district estimates that bail would cost each household about $140 a year.

The district expects additional votes to be tallied by Tuesday evening. Elsewhere in Clark County, a separate tax for the Evergreen School District appeared set to pass Monday night. It includes funding that helps students prepare for future jobs.