Middle School Bond

article from 1949 Chronicle
Article from February 1949 Omak Chronicle, when the school opened as an elementary

Proposed Bond Will Replace Middle School

In 1948, the Emert primary school was hailed as state-of-the-art, beautiful and functional.
Now 70 years later, that’s what the Omak Middle School needs to be.
seventh grade wingSixth grade wingViews of current seventh and sixth grade wings.
What we now know as the middle school was originally made to be an elementary school. What is now the library was an auditorium, gym or lunchroom over the years. The bell system that was once state-of-the-art is still in use as practically an antique.
The worst of the problems come in the dilapidated infrastructure – plumbing, electrical, HVAC. Maintenance
and custodial have been fighting a good battle to keep the school running, but the clock is ticking. Many items in the building cannot be repaired once they go down, or have been bypassed.
The district explored the possibility of just remodeling or rebuilding the school on its current site, but to fully modernize it and make it good for another 70 years would cost much more than building a new school. And staying in the same location would also mean middle school students share outdoor space with the high school, as well as the cafeteria, band room and more, instead of having their own designated space.
outdoor space
Most of the outdoor space at the Middle School is just this blacktop area.
The area of the middle school housing the PAC, main offices and eighth-grade wing would remain. The district is setting dollars aside to remodel the eighth-grade wing, to function in whatever capacity is determined to be best use of the space. The current sixth grade wing, seventh grade wing and library would be demolished.
old entrance
The original main entrance to the Middle School has steps that are sinking now, and is rarely used.
The district will call for a 20-year bond this coming February for about $27.8 million to build the new Middle School and a multi-use athletic field, along with demolition of the Emert school. All bond funds will go to this project.
That translates to $2.40 per $1,000 of assessed value. Our levy is also changing, dropping from $3.41 per $1,000 to $1.50. The net difference in collection, which would begin in 2019, would equal 49 cents per $1,000 more than what taxpayers paid in 2017. A $150,000 home would expect to pay $73.50 more per year if both the bond and the new levy pass.
We are encouraging our residents to register to vote in this election. In-person registration continues open until Feb. 5. Online registration can be done until Jan. 15 at www.vote.wa.gov.
The election day is February 13.
We are in need of community members to join our team to share information and to be part of the design process after a bond passes. Please contact the district office at (509) 826-0320 to sign up.

For many more details on the bond, check out the Quick Facts page.


Things were a lot different in 1948 when the middle school was built. Let's take a look back in time:
  • The new Emert Elementary (now the middle school) cost $240,000 to build.
  • The average new home cost $7,700.
  • Average annual wages were $2,950.
  • A gallon of gas was 16 cents.
  • The transistor radio was invented.
  • The first Polaroid camera went on sale.
  • Televisions were in a shocking 1 million households, up from 5,000 households just 3 years before.
  • NASCAR held its first race for modified stock cars at Daytona Beach.
  • The Baby Boom was well underway, three years after the end of World War II.
  • Harry S. Truman was president, having been appointed after the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt a few years before.
  • Polio was on the rise around the world.
  • Movies from John Wayne, Gene Kelly and Jimmy Stewart are at the top of the box office.