Tri-City schools undergo repairs, upgrades during the summer

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldJuly 8, 2013 

Laura LeVan, third- grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Kennewick, packs up classroom items in preparation for the school's move to the Fruitland building for next school year. Lincoln will be the latest school in Kennewick to be renovated.

RICHARD DICKIN — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

Maintenance crews are working this summer to repair and upgrade Tri-City schools, and some districts have started building projects to meet the growing needs of their students.

Here's a rundown of many of the projects:

Kennewick

The district is gradually renovating several of its elementary schools, paid for by a $68 million bond approved by voters in 2009.

Staff from Lincoln Elementary has moved into the Fruitland building over the summer so work crews can begin interior demolition work.

Meanwhile, Cascade Elementary is preparing to reopen after students and teachers spent the past school year at the Fruitland building.

Seventeen new portable classrooms will be installed at seven of the district's elementary schools. Some also will be installed at Park Middle School and Mid-Columbia Parent Partnership.

The district has a lot of basic maintenance to perform this summer. Ramps will be installed or improved at Kennewick and Legacy high schools and Amistad Elementary. Ramps and safety rails also will be installed at Southridge High School, Park Middle School and Canyon View Elementary.

Eastgate and Cottonwood elementary schools and Southridge will have some roofing work done. Hawthorne and Washington elementary schools and Highlands Middle School will get some fresh paint.

The kitchen will be remodeled at Amistad and new carpeting and flooring installed. The Fruitland building, Southridge and Ridgeview Elementary also will get new carpeting and flooring.

The district plans to finish the renovation of a former commercial space near the administrative headquarters for Phoenix High School in time for the 2013-14 school year.

Pasco

The district broke ground in June on a new elementary school near the intersection of Powerline Road and Road 52 in West Pasco.

The school, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to be open for the 2014-15 school year. A $46.8 million bond approved by voters in February is paying for the school's construction.

Two other schools -- an elementary school and an early learning center -- will be built with bond money and are scheduled to open to students in the 2015-16 school year.

Eleven portable classrooms will be added to the district's schools this summer to help accommodate growing enrollment.

A modular unit for health and fitness education will be installed at McLoughlin Middle School. New air chillers will be installed at McGee and Edwin Markham elementary schools and Captain Gray Early Learning Center.

Design work is ongoing for the new Delta High School, which will be built on land near the intersection of Road 100 and Sandifur Parkway in West Pasco.

District officials have said the project could go to bid this winter and open as early as 2015.

The Washington State Legislature recently agreed to provide $5.4 million for the 45,000-square-foot facility -- a science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, school jointly operated by the Pasco, Kennewick and Richland school districts. That money will be combined with a $10 million to $12 million contribution from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and donations.

Richland

Chief Joseph Middle School will receive a new paint job during the next few months. Its gray exterior will be painted in a palette of yellows and browns with some trim in blue or teal. About 300 to 400 feet of old sidewalk will be replaced and a staircase and ramp will be improved.

The school will have to wait another year before its new heating and cooling system is fully installed, but the district is moving forward with parts of that project. New piping, a new boiler room and a new air chiller will be installed.

Site preparation is ongoing in south Richland for what will be the district's 10th elementary school. It will be built near the intersection of Brantingham Road and Westcliffe Boulevard and is expected to open for the 2014-15 school year. It will be the first school built with the district's voter-approved $98 million bond.

District officials are working on improvements to Fran Rish Stadium at Richland High School. Bond funds will pay for safety improvements for the visitor-side bleachers.

Three projects still in the design stages are the rebuilding of three existing elementary schools in central Richland, replacement of the oldest wing at Jefferson Elementary, and construction of a new middle school.

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