The Pasco City Council paved the way for the city’s newest high school Monday evening.
By a 6-0 vote, the council approved a special permit for Delta High School to move to a site on 6.3 acres on Broadmoor Boulevard from its current location in Richland.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn recently approved $10 million to $12 million to help build the new Delta High — a science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, campus that is supported by school districts in Pasco, Kennewick and Richland.
The 45,000-square-foot, multistory building will accommodate up to 400 students and 70 teachers, according to council’s information packet. Officials compare its estimated traffic impact to that of a similar-size office park.
“I think it’s great that the Tri-City school districts are working to give students another option,” Mayor Matt Watkins said. “And as a Pasco resident, I think it’s great to have it in Pasco.”
Some residents expressed concerns during the planning process about noise coming from the new school, said City Planner David McDonald. So the school districts agreed to build a block wall around the facility and move the building slightly to the south to create a larger buffer area. In addition, they moved the delivery area to the southern part of the site to keep noise away from homes.
“I think (the planning commission) made a great decision, and I’m glad they have worked together to find a home for Delta High School,” Watkins said.
Delta, which will graduate its first senior class Friday, now leases buildings on Northgate Avenue in Richland from Columbia Basin College. The lease expires in 2014.
The state is expected to pick up most of the new school’s estimated $18 million construction cost, with the districts and private companies also kicking in funding.
Councilman Mike Garrison didn’t attend the meeting.
Also Monday, the council:
-- Extended a cable TV franchise agreement with Charter Communications Inc. until June 26, 2014. It’s a short-term extension while the city and Charter try to work out a longer-term agreement to extend the 15-year contract that expires June 26. City Manager Gary Crutchfield said the sides remain far apart on issues like how long the new agreement will be for and whether Charter will continue to provide cable access channels.
Crutchfield said residents shouldn’t worry about having to turn in their cable boxes because the sides couldn’t come to an agreement.
“I’m sure an agreement can be reached; it’s a question of what it contains,” he said.
Watkins said Pasco is working together with the city of Richland on extending their agreements. He said cities are concerned that, in the future, such franchise agreements, which only cover cable and not internet or phone service, could be done through the state or federal governments, preventing cities from making customer service requirements they can now include in the agreements.
“The market’s changed since we last negotiated, and we realize that, but we want to make sure Pasco’s citizens are served well,” Watkins said.
-- Approved a special permit to allow the World Life Christian Center to place a church in part of the former Food Pavilion store at 3315 W. Court St.
-- Awarded a bid for the annual sewer re-lining project to Michels Corporation of Brownsville, Wis., for $529,970. The project will line 2,700 feet of pipe on Road 44 and another 700 feet along Fifth Avenue. The city engineer’s estimate for the project was $705,900.
Insituform Technologies In. of St. Louis had the second-lowest bid at $578,607.
--Awarded a $44,659 bid to Ray Poland & Sons of Kennewick to rebuild the water line at Fourth Avenue and Clark Street. The company beat out C&E Trenching of Pasco, which had bid $54,244. Engineers estimated the cost at $54,175.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom