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School safety, construction funds approved in Senate includes revenue for new Auburn High School

Sen. Joe Fain, left, and Auburn School Board member Ray Vefik discuss upcoming improvements to Auburn High School in Fain’s Olympia offic - Courtesy photo
Sen. Joe Fain, left, and Auburn School Board member Ray Vefik discuss upcoming improvements to Auburn High School in Fain’s Olympia offic
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Extensive improvements planned for Auburn High School passed another hurdle today, two weeks ahead of a Feb. 24 groundbreaking ceremony. Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, 47th District, announced  the state Senate passed two proposals to fund school-construction projects and improve school safety.

"Auburn residents voiced their support on the ballot in November and today the Senate responded by ensuring those funds are available so these important projects can get under way with confidence," said Fain, the Senate's Majority Floor Leader. "Our community is looking forward to the enhancements that will reshape Auburn High School and make it well-equipped for our local students to succeed."

Fain co-sponsored a measure that would authorize $475 million in bonds during the state's next two-year budget cycle for the School Construction Assistance Program, which provides money for new buildings and upgrades statewide.

The $29.3 million from the funding package would go to the Auburn project, which Fain discussed today while meeting with Auburn School Board member Ray Vefik in Olympia.

Improvements are set to include upgraded classroom technology, a new main entrance with improved disability access and better security, along with newparking and athletic facilities.

A second bill requires schools to add alarm systems that communicate directly with local law enforcement. New schools and those undergoing building upgrades must also incorporate design enhancements that create safer campus grounds and streamlined monitoring of access points.

"Both measures send a clear message to that we are moving forward focused on our core principles - education, responsible budgeting and job creation - and that there is broad bipartisan support in the Senate," Fain said. "Creating a safer classroom environment, while simultaneously creating jobs is exactly the type of dual-purpose investment the state must be making in all areas."

Both bills passed unanimously and are now referred to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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