A mere 85 votes separated the yes from the no votes Tuesday, May 6. In the end, 53 percent of the 1,613 residents that voted for on Maple Valley Public Schools bond proposal cast a yes vote. Voters approved an increase of 4.1 mills, which will generate $18 million for the district.

“I think this goes to show when members of the community come together, roll up their sleeves and go to work, we can accomplish anything,” said Darren McDonald, co-chair of Citizens for Maple Valley’s Future. “I think it helped a lot coming from the community members as a real grassroots effort.”

Citizens for Maple Valley’s Future was created when members of the community came together after realizing some real concerns facing the district. Working with the district, the committee came up with the proposal, which addresses four main areas — safety, warm, dry and smart. Thirty nine percent of the $18 million will be utilized to enhance student safety, including secure entries at each building, improved exterior and emergency lighting, security cameras and properly locking doors. Another 24 percent of the bond will be used to replace the boilers at Fuller Street Elementary and add energy-efficient doors and windows throughout the district. Twenty percent of the bond will replace leaking roofs and pipes in the district. The final 17 percent of the bond will upgrade and expand the district’s technology, including adding classroom computers, expanding the district’s wireless technology infrastructure and add a science lab at the high school.

Passing the bond would also means the district plans to reopen Maplewood School to hold first through sixth grade. Fuller Street School would be utilized for Pre-K and kindergarten students. Additional class space would open up at Maple Valley Jr./Sr. High School if housing seventh through 12 grades.

Superintendent Michelle Falcon said a bond steering committee would be formed if the proposal is approved. The committee would include members of Citizens for Maple Valley’s Future.

“The superintendent has involved the committee throughout the entire process,” McDonald said. “We promised the community we would be there every step of the way. We put our face on this bond and it’s important we stay a part of it.”