Sunnyside Schools $16 million bond passes

SUNNYSIDE — The deciding votes collected from the downtown ballot box were the major factor in pushing the Sunnyside School District 2019 Bond to a super majority approval last Wednesday.

The Yakima County Elections office reported at 3:14 p.m. that the voters cast a 62.78 percent “yes” vote. Of the recorded 2,461 ballots cast, 1,545 said yes to the $16 million capital improvement at Sunnyside High School.

The number improved to 63.36 percent with 1,615 of the 2,549 ballots cast on Thursday. That number remained the same through the holiday weekend.

School District Superintendent Kevin McKay on Wednesday afternoon said, “We’re pretty excited and couldn’t be happier.”

He continued, “We’d like to thank parents, community members, school board officials, along with Bengie Aguilar, Mark Diddens, Jory Anderson and John Van Wingerden.”

McKay is pleased the voters decided in favor of improvements that include additional classroom space, as well as improvements to the campus and athletic facilities.

He also thanked school employees for going the extra mile.

“In order to provide the best opportunities for our kids, I am happy for the school to be able to finish what we’ve started,” Sunnyside High School Principal Ryan Maxwell proudly exclaimed. “Our community deserves it… and it’s going to be a neat facility for everyone to use.”

The votes cast as of 8 p.m. last Tuesday night were shy of the 60 percent needed for the bond to pass. Cast were 1,814 with 1,078 in favor of the bond, which amounted to 59.43 percent.

The Yakima County Auditor’s Office said Thursday’s tally amounted to just more than 30 percent of the 8,450 ballots sent out. There were just 30 ballots not yet counted as of Thursday because they were being challenged — the auditor was verifying signatures.

The final tally will be certified on Feb. 22.

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