Ballots cast by Nov. 6 will answer the question pondered for more than two years by Walla Walla Public Schools — are voters here willing to pay $65.6 million for renovations at Walla Walla and Lincoln high schools, plus Pioneer Middle School?

A “yes” vote will also fund districtwide security and other infrastructure improvements, district officials say, and potentially pull in $52.6 million in state matching funds.

The state money will only be used for voter-approved projects. Upon completion of the projects, any remaining dollars will be used to pay down the bond debt, according to WWPS Superintendent Wade Smith.

The proposed bond will cost $1.23 per $1,000 of assessed property value within the school district boundaries, replacing penny-for-penny another school bond that retires in December. Taxpayers with a home valued at $250,000 will continue to pay about $26 a month for not more than 20 years, if voters say yes.

The rate is the lowest of Walla Walla public school bonds since at least 1990, Smith said.

Oct. 29 is the last day for in-person voter registration in Washington state.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at or 526-8322.

Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers education in the Walla Walla Valley. She also writes a column, Home Place, usually highlighting family life and slices of local life.