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This week in history - from The Arlington Times archives
10 years ago 1998
n One step at a time. Thats how the Arlington School Board on Monday decided to solve the districts overcrowding problem. And the first step the top priority is building a new high school. Putting off decisions about grade configurations and overcrowding at the elementary and middle school levels, the board voted to move forward with a $37.9 million bond proposal to build a new 1,600-student high school on the Boettcher property, 1.5 miles northeast of town on SR 530. Arlington School District voters will decide the issue at the polls May 19. The proposed high school, including grandstands, will cost a total of $47.3 million, with $9.4 million coming from state matching funds. Those funds are derived by the districts unhoused students and by taking the current high school A building out of use. District taxpayers are being asked to fund the remaining $37.9 million over the next 20 years. If approved, the bond is expected to cost those taxpayers about $1.17 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. This is the third time a high school bond proposal has been sent to the voters in the last two years, but the first time it has stood on its own. Previous proposals included remodeling the current high school site and Presidents Elementary. By removing those projects from the plan, the board is recognizing the need to come back to voters with another bond proposal to help ease overcrowding at the elementary and middle school levels in two to three years. The board had been hoping to propose a plan that would help solve all the districts overcrowding problems, but new information including a recommendation on grade configurations in the schools and the recent purchase of property in Gleneagle for an elementary school site added too many questions. Were trying to cram all this into a bond issue, but things have changed since the last time, said Board member Jerry Gamble, referring to the previous proposals that addressed overcrowding at the middle school and elementary levels, as well as the high school. In my opinion, our first priority issue is to build a high school for the kids in this community, he said. If we focus on the high school, were addressing a simple cost issue. Then we can roll the configuration issue into itself and have a year to figure out the rest the configuration and a new facility and another bond. Because building and renovating middle schools and elementary schools take about 18 months rather than the three years it takes to build a high school, all the projects could still be completed in about the same time as if all were included in one bond, he said. I think wed be pressing ourselves if we tried to decide it al now. Other board members agreed. We all still agree we should put a new high school on a new site, said Bob McClure. We dont agreed with what to do with Presidents or the Gleneagle site. By deciding the high school issue first, the next discussion can focus on educational benefits of grade configuration rather than just on where to put them, he said.
n The city of Arlington moved one step closer to annexing what has become know as the Zahradnik Property. At a public hearing March 16, the Arlington City Council approved a 60 percent Notice of Intention to Annex submitted by landowner, John Raby. In September Raby received approval from the Council of a 10 percent annexation petition for the property, located on the northwest corner of HIghway 9 and SR 530. The 60 percent annexation petition was the next step in the annexation process. Currently, Raby and the City Council are awaiting a response from the state Boundary Review Board, expected no sooner than 30 days from now. But the decision by the Council to send the petition to the BRB was met with disapproval from several of the 20 citizens on hand at the public hearing. One neighborhood resident, who said he has two pre-high-school-aged children, voiced concern over the annexation, questioning the Councils reasoning and relating the annexation, and the new development it is likely to bring with it, to the overcrowding problem Arlington High School is now experiencing. With two children at Kent Prairie Elementary School nearing high school age and no new high school in sight (the Arlington School Districts bid to pass a bond to build a new high school was turned down twice by voters last year), he asked, why encourage people to move into Arlington? Why is Arlington developing when the schools cant accommodate the current population? Arlington Mayor Bob Kraski said its a tricky situation to be in, but noted the City Council doesnt decide on the future of Arlingtons schools especially when the proposed high school is outside Arlingtons urban growth area. We have nothing to do with the schools, Kraski said. If we turned down the annexation we would get sued so fast. Its touchy its not as simple as just saying stop.
25 years ago 1983
n Theres life in the Woodlands housing development yet, said Ken Rice, attorney for the Canus Corp., developers of the 1,400-unit project south of Arlington, between 67th Avenue NE and SR 9. The $95 million project appeared to be tottering close to bankruptcy for over nine months, ever since the Canadian bank financing the development withdrew its support and cash. The erection of a sign at the entrance last week announcing the Woodlands Golf Community has sparked many inquiries, said Bob Barrett with MacPhersons Realty. The association of MacPhersons with Woodlands goes back to December 1982, when Raza Devji, president of Canus, reported the firms latest potential solution to Woodlands financial problems. Under that plan, MacPhersons was to pre-sell 30 lots in Sector 1 to builders and place those funds in escrow to be used to pay off some of Woodlands current debts of about $500,000 and finish that first plat a total of about $600,000. The first nine holes of the Woodlands golf course would also have to be completed. Lots would not be sold to individual homeowners. the golf course is central to the success of the rescue plan, said Barrett, who noted the residential lots adjacent to golf courses are a premium investment priceless, he called such property. However, while Barrett said MacPhersons is bullish on the product, sales to builders have been moving slowly because financing for speculative building is still hard to get in this area. Lenders are being cautious, he said, and its too early to set any timetable for the success of the plan, but our preliminary studies indicate this is the way to go. Rice was optimistic about a solution to Woodlands financial crunch. These lots are starting to interest builders, he said, and we anticipate a number of them to be sold this spring Our creditors have been patient and accommodating. Its in their best interest that this project proceed.
50 years ago 1958
n A crew of volunteers of the Congregational Church turned to on Saturday afternoon and started clearing and grading on the lot south of the church to provide thereon a parking lot which will accommodate about 30 cars. Equipment from the Arlington Sand & Gravel Co. was loaned for the job and with Ed. Almli operating it loaded material to be trucked away. A city dump truck was also employed on the job. there still remains considerable work to complete the job, which when finished will provide parking for shoppers and for the cars of merchants and their employees, also it will provide a good parking place for those attending Sunday services, as it is planned to provide a walk from the parking lot to the church.