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Stanwood-Camano voters will be asked in February to renew the School District’s four-year Facilities and Technology Levy.

The existing four-year levy, approved by voters in 2018, expires at the end of 2022.

The $8.3 million collected during that time helped pay for several building improvements, including fire alarm systems at Stanwood and Twin City elementary schools, a new roof at Port Susan Middle School, replacement of exterior windows at Stanwood Middle School, and playground updates at Utsalady, Elger Bay and Cedarhome elementary schools.

The money also went toward buying enough Chromebook laptops for each student, a move that school officials said proved useful during the pandemic.

If approved, the replacement levy would collect about $10.3 million over four years at a tax rate of about 27 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is about $108 a year on a $400,000 home.

Liz Jamieson, construction manager for the School District, said a Facilities and Technology Levy Committee has been meeting to prioritize about 50 maintenance requests from throughout the district.

High on the list is reroofing Cedarhome Elementary, repairing fencing and completing security updates at various locations throughout the district, and boiler repairs at Elger Bay and Cedarhome elementary schools, she said.

About half of the money raised by the levy would go toward technology upgrades, including replenishing and maintaining Chromebooks, upgrading software and updating infrastructure, said Ryan Ovenell, the district’s executive director of technology, assessment and human resources.

The School Board voted unanimously Sept. 7 to approve placing the levy on the ballot in February.

Other business

• The School Board also heard a staffing report from district officials, who said they hired 44 teachers and 27 classified staff during the summer. They also reported there remains several open positions, including for more teachers, bus drivers, custodians and paraeducators.

• The board accepted two donations totaling more than $42,000. The Stanwood Haggen Food and Pharmacy donated 5,940 face masks, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer valued at $37,165. The Arlington Safeway donated face masks valued at $5,100.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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