Richland School Board approves $98M bond for February ballot

Tri-City HeraldNovember 28, 2012 

The Richland School Board also on Tuesday approved a $98 million bond proposal to put before voters on the February ballot.

Board members approved the original bond for the February ballot in late August, saying it was needed to fix buildings and address growing enrollment.

The revised bond will retain Jefferson Elementary as a traditional elementary school, and the district will build Three Rivers HomeLink, one of Richland's alternative schools, its own facility if the bond is approved by voters.

The original bond proposal included: a new elementary school and new middle school to the south and west of Richland; rebuilding three central Richland elementary schools; repurposing Jefferson for HomeLink; replacing the heating and cooling system at Chief Joseph Middle School; and improving Fran Rish Stadium.

The bond came under fire in late September when Jefferson parents criticized the board's decision to no longer use the school along George Washington Way as a traditional school.

They said the district didn't fully investigate the proposal's effects and didn't reach out to community members.

After gathering and reviewing more information, board members agreed earlier this month t hat most of the bond proposal should remain as planned, except Jefferson should continue as a K-5 school.

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