Richland School Board could vote on land buy Tuesday

By the tri-city HeraldMay 9, 2014 

The Richland School Board could vote on buying land for two new schools at its Tuesday meeting.

The board reviewed a proposed land purchase in the Badger Mountain South development at a special meeting Friday.

Chamberlain & Associates Inc. of West Richland appraised the 52.7-acre site's value at $1.74 million. The area is east of the Interstate 82 interchange with Dallas Road, in an area Richland annexed in 2010. It is part of a planned development with 5,000 homes, as well as businesses.

The school district has not detailed a construction plan for the site on East Reata Road, but it is seeking to develop a middle school and elementary school there, according to geotechnical survey documents.

Board President Phyllis Strickler didn't hear any board member express negative thoughts on the project, she said.

"I'm hopeful that it will probably be (passed), but we'll have to wait and see," she said.

District officials have scrambled to find area suitable for a middle school, which was part of a $98 million bond approved by voters more than a year ago.

While the project isn't planned to be built for several years, delays in finding suitable land could stall it, district Superintendent Rick Schulte has said.

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