Northwest NEWS

March 19, 2001

Front Page

Athletic fields included in Riverview bond

Issue will go before voters in May
   by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor
   CARNATION - Riverview School District officials are hoping the sixth time will be a charm.
   With support from the community increasing, the district has decided to again ask voters to approve a proposition to build athletic fields at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall. But this time, the request will be included in a $5,750,000 20-year capital projects bond which would also pay for roof repairs at three schools and some structural repairs and seismic upgrades to Tolt Middle School. The bond would also provide funds for the completion of the Riverview Performing Arts Center at Cedarcrest.
   The Riverview Board of Directors approved placing the proposition on the May 15 ballot at the March 13 board meeting.
   Included in the proposition is $3.25 million for construction of a multi-purpose physical education and athletic field with track at Cedarcrest, the same improvements requested in November's general election, which failed to gain approval by about 20 votes. However, the cost for the improvements has risen from the $2,995,000 asked for last fall because of inflation. If approved, the bond would pay for clearing and grading of the 9.6 acre site, construction of a PE, football/ soccer field, a track and field facility, bleachers and a 1200-square-foot restroom and concession building.
   Cedarcrest opened its doors in September 1993. Since then, students have had to use the fields at Tolt Middle School or rent or borrow facilities at other area high schools. For years, the district has struggled to keep the football field at Tolt in shape, due to the heavy use by both schools.
   Five previous times bond requests have gone down to defeat at the polls, attributed partly to a "rift" between residents of Duvall and Carnation that surfaced when the new high school was built in Duvall and Tolt High became Tolt Middle School.
   At last month's school board meeting, several parents spoke of the need for sports facilities at the high school and the fact that the hard feelings seem to be coming to an end.
   Tracy Green, currently a sportswriter who went through Riverview School District in the late 1970s and early '80s, told the board that the last vote showed that the community has finally healed and is ready to vote "yes," emphasizing that the students at Cedarcrest need to have their own athletic identity.
   Resident Jeff Pratto said his three daughters are involved in sports and felt it would be in everbody's best interest to give the fields another chance.
   Rick Harris told the board that the list of supporters for the athletic field has doubled and redoubled over the last few weeks.
   Leaky roofs need fixing, too
   While the lack of sports facilities gets all the attention, roofs are leaking in three school buildings. The proposition would pay for roof repairs to Tolt Middle School, Cedarcrest High School and Stillwater Elementary.
   According to board member Laura Ritter, the roof at Cedarcrest, which has leaked since it was installed, needs to be totally redone. The school district was awarded $1.5 million last fall in a lawsuit with the company that installed the roof when the school was built. A King County Superior Court jury agreed with the district when it claimed the roof was defective when it was installed.
   But, said Ritter, the company, Loadmaster Systems, Inc., of Atlanta, is appealing the judgment.
   "We will be using the money the district has collected so far," said Ritter. "But it is in appeals."
   Ritter said the 10-year-old roof on Stillwater Elementary also needs replacement and three buildings at Tolt need some minor remodeling because of water damage.
   Last February, a two-year Performing Arts Center completion levy failed to pass by a slim margin. The bond asked for money to complete the much-used facility, including stage rigging and drapery, lighting devices, projection screen and space for equipment storage. Funds for completion of the center are included in the May 15 bond request.
   To pass, the proposition needs 40 percent of voters of the previous general election to cast ballots, and a 60 percent supermajority of "yes" votes.
   The Riverview Board is seeking volunteers to serve on argument committees for the Local Voters Pamphlet. One committee will prepare written arguments advocating voters' approval of the ballot measure; the other will advocate voters' rejection.
   Each committee is limited to three members. Committee appointments will be made by the board at the March 27 regular meeting. Anyone interested in serving on either committee should contact Cheryl Layman, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, at (425) 844-4504, no later than March 23.