Richland School District, developer reach deal on school site

Tri-City HeraldMay 16, 2014 

— The Richland School District finalized the purchase Friday of a 52-acre school site in a development near the interchange of Interstate 82 and Dallas Road.

The $1.74 million sale with Nor Am Investment, which is developing the 1,500-acre Badger Mountain South mixed-use development, will close by May 30, a news release said. The district and developer had been negotiating the terms of the purchase for several days.

The district has sought land for a middle school for years and a middle school project is listed in the $98 million bond approved last year by voters. However, it’s not clear how soon the district would build on the land.

Badger Mountain South could potentially be home to 15,000 people but also have shops, restaurants, health care facilities and hundreds of acres of parks and trails.

There are only a handful of homes in the development. The Richland school site is on the northern end while another owned by the Kennewick School District is located in the southern portion.

The board was ready to move forward with the land purchase earlier this week but the developer said there could be more green space in the development than initially planned.

Concerned about there not being enough homes in the development to serve, the board asked for the right to reject changing the development’s master plan to less than 4,150 housing units. The project now calls for a minimum of 4,500 housing units.

Superintendent Rick Schulte said Nor Am agreed to the board’s counter offer, and that’s good news for the community. “We’re well-positioned to build schools when the time is right,” he said.

-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver; Google+: +TyBeaverTCHerald

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