Stevens School vote falling short, next count Friday

In initial ballot counting Tuesday, a bond measure to build a new Stevens Elementary School in Aberdeen was falling short of the needed 60 percent supermajority required for bond financing in Washington. With the exception of McCleary, where the vote is tied, all routine school levy measures in the county were passing. They need just a simple majority.

The Stevens bond, a proposal for a $46.8 million project to build a new school next to the 1950s-era school in South Aberdeen, had a 58.42% approval rate, with a vote of 1,675 yes and 1,192 no.

Kris Koski, chairperson of Aberdeen Citizens for Schools, said, “With ballots still left to count, we will have to wait and see where the final number lands. In any case, I believe the results show strong support for Stevens Elementary School and South Aberdeen, and I am looking forward to the updated ballot count on Friday.”

“I am extremely encouraged by the results so far, and I would like to express a hearty thank you to Kris Koski, who served as our campaign chairman. The work of Kris and our many supporters is very appreciated by the Aberdeen School District,” said Aberdeen Superintendent Alicia Henderson.

Ballots had to be mailed or left in ballot drop boxes by 8 p.m. Tuesday. The ballots that didn’t arrive in time to be processed and counted Tuesday evening will be counted in coming days. The next tally is scheduled for Friday.

Meantime, routine levies were doing well in every district. Results of East County levies are included in a story elsewhere in today’s paper.

Aberdeen (60.25%), Hoquiam (64.32%), Ocosta (57.09%), Cosmopolis (59.91%), Quinault (71.02%), North Beach (59.14%), Taholah (82.35%) and Wishkah (63.52%) all were passing as of Tuesday’s vote counting. The North River District, did not have a levy on the ballot.

“I am very pleased with the 60% approval of the levy,” said Koski.

“Education funding is an investment with proven community benefits. School funding improves graduation rates. It improves graduates’ incomes later in life and it reduces adult poverty rates,” he said.

“Businesses and families considering a move to Aberdeen are looking for strong schools. Levy funding is a critical revenue source to pay for athletics, music and technology, enriching our youth and maintaining those community benefits,” he added.