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Ridgefield School District bond appears headed for failure again

The $62.5 million dollar bond would fund a new elementary school and expansions to Ridgefield High School.

RIDGEFIELD, Wash. — For the fifth time in three years, residents in 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. 

As of Monday, the bond appeared to be falling short of the mark needed to pass. Sixty percent of votes have to be in favor, and the tally as of Monday evening stood at just over 59 percent.

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

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"Union Ridge is projected to have 900 students and South Ridge is expected to have around 625," Vajgart said. "One of the first things would be to balance enrollments on those schools, which means adjusting the enrollment boundaries."

The district could also look at long-term options like an am-pm or year-round configuration for elementary school students, he said, although that wouldn't happen during the current school year.

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

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"The problem we are running into now is we just have no more class space," Vajgart said. "We have nowhere to put those additional students, we have no additional classrooms."

The district estimates the bond would cost each household about $140 per year. 

The district expects additional votes to be tallied by Tuesday evening. Elsewhere in Clark County, a separate levy for the Evergreen School District looked on track to pass as of Monday evening. It includes funding that helps students prepare for future jobs.