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    Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy

    photo of school under construction

    The Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy replaces the expiring capital levy that was approved by Seattle voters in 2013. Capital levies are part of Seattle Public Schools’ long-range plan to upgrade and renovate aging school facilities on a planned and predictable schedule, and play a key role in funding district technology equipment, software and services.

    Why SPS needs a capital levy

    Capital levies are the primary funding source to ensure that every student has a safe, optimal learning environment. School districts receive limited state or federal funding for improvements to school buildings. Seattle Public Schools relies on voter-approved capital levies to fund school construction and renovations, safety and security upgrades, building systems improvements, and major maintenance. Capital levies also provide the majority of funding for important classroom technology and support for student learning, district technology systems, and technology infrastructure.

    What's included in the BEX V Capital Levy


    The BEX V Capital Levy:

    Replaces or modernizes eight aging schools:

    • Rainier Beach High School
    • Mercer International Middle School
    • Alki Elementary
    • Kimball Elementary
    • Montlake Elementary
    • Northgate Elementary
    • Rogers Elementary
    • Viewlands Elementary

    Adds classrooms and removes portables:

    • Adds a total of 1,908 new seats to help balance class sizes across the district.
    • Removes 76 portables from schools.
    • Increases capacity at new replacement or modernized schools.
    • Builds an addition at West Seattle Elementary.
    • Expands Original Van Asselt to serve as an interim site.

    Enhances safety and security at EVERY school, which will include:

    • Securing entrances and school sites at every school.
    • Reviewing and adding security fencing as needed at elementary and middle schools.

    Plans for the future:

    • Funds design work for modernization and expansion of Aki Kurose Middle School.
    • Funds design work for replacement of Sacajawea Elementary.
    • Provides funding for property acquisition and future school planning.

    Improves existing schools:

    • Upgrades or replaces heating/cooling systems, doors and/or windows, roofs, and electrical and plumbing systems.
    • Improves playgrounds at multiple elementary and K-8 schools.
    • Makes earthquake safety (seismic) improvements.
    • Updates athletic fields and athletic field lighting.
    • Adds sound reduction (attenuation) systems to reduce the volume of noise in six open-concept schools.
    • Upgrades fire alarm systems.


    photo of two boys using a computerCapital levies provide the primary funding source for making strategic investments in technology for learning and teaching in the classroom; delivering services to students, teachers, staff and families; and improving efficiency in business processes. Projects and services fall into three major categories:

    Student Learning and Support. Under BEX V, the district will upgrade and expand classroom, student, and staff technology and resources to provide a baseline across schools. Technology and professional learning will be included, specifically to support school improvement, district programs, and special needs. Additional technology funding and support will be allocated to high-need schools.

    District Systems and Data. Student and business systems support all schools and central office. Improvements will continue to allow the district deliver services needed for payroll, purchasing, human resources, finances, budgeting, transportation, health, nutrition, Special Education, scheduling, attendance, managing instruction, grade reporting, and parent communication. Work will also continue to improve processes, communication, collaboration, and compliance; improve data governance, systems integration, and using data to improve results.

    Infrastructure and Security. Upgrades will be made to the data center and cloud systems with improvements to the district’s data security and access systems. School internet connectivity and wireless access will be upgraded to meet higher demands. Implementing a computer replacement program will ensure that technology is refreshed on a regular and predictable schedule.

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    The BEX/BTA Capital Programs Oversight Committee is a citizen oversight committee required by the School Board. The focus of the committee is to assure that the BEX and BTA programs supports academic achievement in the schools, as well as program revenues, expenditures, and planning for future BEX and BTA levies or bonds.