Over the past year and a half, parents, students, staff members, volunteers, partners and the community have told VPS what needs to be replaced or renovated in their schools. In response, the district is developing plans to improve every school, contingent on approval of a bond measure. While the list of improvements has not been finalized, the upgrades could include at least one of the following at every school:

  • Complete rebuild or new construction
  • Expansion to allow for increased student enrollment and greater community use
  • Roof replacement
  • Upgraded cafeteria, gym or commons
  • Heating and cooling system upgrades
  • Flooring replacement
  • Safety and security upgrades
  • Parking lot resurfacing
  • Playground and athletic field improvements
  • Modernization to support technology needs

The above map shows potential projects across the entire district, with a significant south end concentration of schools that need to be replaced.

Proposed funding: Bond measure

If approved by the district’s board of directors and local voters, a property tax measure in the form of a capital bond could provide funding to rebuild or upgrade every school in VPS. The bond measure likely would appear on the February 2017 special election ballot and would require a supermajority of 60 percent voter approval to pass. Estimated rates will be available in November 2016, pending the VPS board of directors’ approval of the bond amount. The community last approved a bond measure for VPS in 2001. That bond helped replace or build Eisenhower, Franklin, Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Sarah J. Anderson and Washington elementary schools and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

Districtwide improvements, updates and rebuilds

Improvements and updates

Anderson ES Chinook ES Eisenhower ES Felida ES
Fruit Valley ES Harney ES Hazel Dell ES Hough ES
Lake Shore ES Lincoln ES Minnehaha ES Roosevelt ES
Salmon Creek ES Washington ES Alki MS Discovery MS
Gaiser MS Jason Lee MS Jefferson MS Fort Vancouver HS
Hudson’s Bay HS Skyview HS Vancouver Flex Academy GATE


Columbia River HS Vancouver School of Arts and Academics Sacajawea ES Franklin ES Kiggins Bowl stadium

Rebuild and replace

King ES
Built in 1971
Marshall ES
Built in 1962
Peter S. Ogden ES
Built in 1973
Truman ES
Built in 1970
Walnut Grove ES
Built in 1952
McLoughlin MS
Built in 1956
Fir Grove/Vista
Built in 1955
Lieser Campus
Built in 1944

New construction

Vancouver iTech Preparatory
Opened in 2012 in temp space
New downtown elementary school New NE 25th Ave. elementary school
This and other articles originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of Inside Vancouver Public Schools.

Bonds = buildings, levies = operations

In February 2016, local voters renewed the district’s maintenance and operations levy. Levies and bonds are used for different things. Levy dollars pay for educational programs and day-to-day operations of schools, including:

  • Teacher and staff support
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Classroom supplies, textbooks and equipment
  • Utilities and insurance
  • Safety and security staff

Levies are not typically used for significant construction and must be renewed in two-, three- or four-year intervals.

Bonds pay for facilities, including:

  • New construction
  • Replacement schools
  • Building upgrades, e.g., new roofs, heating and cooling systems
  • Safe and secure entrances
  • Remodeling and expansion

If approved by local voters, bonds are eligible for state matching funds. They are paid off over a maximum of 20 years.