Green Mountain mulls levy bid

Small but growing school district may expand campus, add classrooms

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

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The Green Mountain School District is eyeing an expansion of its campus on a one-acre swatch of land adjacent to the district's historic schoolhouse.

The K-8 school district will hold two community meetings to discuss placing a capital projects levy on the April ballot. The first meeting took place Wednesday night, while a second is set for Tuesday at the school's stage, 13105 N.E. Grinnell Road, southeast of Woodland.

The school district is investigating whether to build more classrooms to accommodate its 162 students, said Superintendent Joe Jones.

The district is made up of an 81-year-old schoolhouse, a small district office building and two portable classroom buildings. A levy would pay to purchase nearby land and place a new portable building on it.

"We've had an increase in people moving into the district," Jones said, "and an increase of people who want to be in our district."

Many of the new students are on waivers from other districts, he said.

The levy would come as the district finishes paying its old debts.

The school district closed out a 20-year construction bond in December. The money from the bond was used on the district's last series of capital improvement projects.

In 1993, the district added a parking lot. Three years later, the district followed that with a remodel of the old schoolhouse. It added two portable buildings to its 3.75-acre campus in 2005.

School officials say they don't know how much the levy will cost district residents. The price will depend on the cost of the nearby land and a final bid to construct the portable classrooms.

"We're still negotiating with the landowner for what the cost would be," Jones said. "We want to have a good understanding of why we need to have a capital projects levy."

When all is said and done, the early months of 2013 will prove to be a busy one for voters in Clark County's various school districts.

The Vancouver, Ridgefield, La Center, Camas and Battle Ground school districts all have one or more levies on today's ballot.

Voters in the Green Mountain School District approved a four-year maintenance and operations levy in 2012.

Tyler Graf:360-735-4517; http://www.twitter.com/col_smallcities;tyler.graf@columbian.com