The Richland School District would rebuild three elementary schools and construct a new elementary school in south Richland in 2014 if the district's board decides to ask taxpayers to pay for the work.
School board members are looking at nine different projects likely paid for by a proposed $89 million bond that could go before voters in February.
Those projects would be completed throughout four years but more than half are currently scheduled to be finished before 2015 in an attempt to keep costs down.
"The farther out we go, the more inflation impacts (the projects)," said Mark Panther, executive director of support services.
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School board members haven't officially decided to pursue the bond to pay for the construction, though they've discussed it for months. Increasing enrollment in the Richland suburbs combined with aging facilities in the city's core necessitate the rebuilding of several schools and the construction of several new schools, along with other projects, said officials.
If the bond is approved, Chief Joseph Middle School's heating and cooling system replacement would be done in spring 2013.
Construction of a new elementary school in south Richland and rebuilding of Marcus Whitman, Sacajawea and Lewis & Clark elementary schools would follow in 2014.
Students would continue to attend the three schools as the replacements are built on adjoining property. Fran Rish Stadium would also receive upgrades in 2014.
The remaining projects -- another new elementary school and a new middle school and repurposing of Jefferson Elementary School -- would start no later than spring 2017.
The district also is looking at other ways to save money, including building some of the schools with similar templates to keep the design and building site costs down.
Board members could decide by mid-August whether to put the issue before voters this winter.
They agreed Tuesday they'd prefer to put a bond up for election rather than a capital levy. A bond would have higher interest costs but not increase taxes nearly as much as a capital levy.