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EPHRATA, Wash. -- On Feb. 9, 2021 voters will decide on a four-year replacement levy for the Ephrata School District. If approved, funds will support activities, programs and people not paid for by state and federal funds.

This Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy is not a new tax; it is a replacement of the already voter-approved 2019 levy that is set to expire December 2021. The replacement levy continues funding for Ephrata schools from January 2022 through December 2025. If passed, Ephrata Schools are eligible to receive an additional $2.6 to $2.8 million in levy equalization funds from Washington state.

Approximately two-thirds of the replacement dollars on the ballot will support sports and extracurricular activities, including salaries for coaches, transportation for athletics and club activities, athletic supplies and some maintenance. Roughly one-third of levy dollars will fund people and programs related to security, technology, transportation, food services, maintenance, training and the College in the High School program.

“Levies and bonds allow districts to offer the programs, services and facilities that help provide quality education,” said Tim Payne, Superintendent. “We remain committed to fiscally honor the established tax rate projections that will help us on our mission to focus on kids and learning.” 

If approved the replacement levy costs will follow this schedule:



Tax Rate*

Average Cost for a $200K Homeowner

Ballot Tax Amount Collected

Levy Equalization Funds from State

2021 (current)

























*Per $1,000 assessed property value. Future taxes are estimates

The replacement levy will work in conjunction with a $27.89 million, 20-year capital bond approved by voters in 2019 for facility upgrades, security and safety. Construction is well underway at Columbia Ridge Elementary and the Ephrata Middle School. 

Following the successful bond approval, the Ephrata School District contracted with Construction Services Group (CSG) - Educational Service District 112 (ESD) and Design West Architects to develop plans for construction at District schools. During the planning process CSG discovered an additional $40 million in funds available for construction costs from the state of Washington (state match of the District’s approved levy). These funds allow for expanded construction projects and further renovation of buildings across the District. The matching dollars also help to defray material cost increases experienced as a result of the pandemic.

Original plans called for building three, new, multi-purpose gyms with stages and music teaching areas at Grant Elementary, Columbia Ridge Elementary and the Ephrata Middle School; renovating the existing Performing Arts Center (PAC) and remodeling the PAC gym; replacing school roofs; building eight new permanent classrooms; remodeling Grant Elementary and Columbia Ridge Elementary administrative offices. 

Additional state matching funds allow for a full remodel of Columbia Ridge Elementary, the Ephrata Middle School and Grant Elementary, including, but not limited to, new paint, floors, heating and air conditioning systems and a new library at the middle school. 

The design process for Grant Elementary, the PAC and the PAC gym are currently underway. The additional state matching funds will increase the amount of work done to each facility. 

“We’re very excited about the construction projects underway in the Ephrata School District,” said Payne. “The additional money from the state allows us to provide better facilities than originally planned and makes our taxpayer dollars go further.”  

In total, $86 million in state matching funds will be distributed to the Ephrata School District community over the 20-year life of the approved bond: approximately $46 million towards construction projects; and another estimated $40 million in levy equalization.

“Approval of these bond and levy measures by the voters of Ephrata paired with state matching funds making a significant, and positive impact on the school district and its community,” said Payne. “We are incredibly blessed and appreciative.”

To follow the District’s construction projects and to see architectural renderings of Columbia Ridge Elementary and the Ephrata Middle School, visit Additional information on the 2021 replacement levy program is also available on the District's website.


Media Contact:
Tim Payne
Ephrata School District Superintendent
(509) 754-2474 | 

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