A Tri-City health care provider will build a clinic next to Amistad Elementary School to serve students in the Kennewick School District.
The Kennewick School Board unanimously approved operating and leasing agreements with Tri-Cities Community Health during Wednesday's board meeting. The clinic is expected to open as soon as early January.
The clinic will operate independently of the district and be open to all district students, though district officials said its location makes it accessible to the district's low-income families.
"There's more need down here," said Lorraine Cooper, district spokeswoman.
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More than 95 percent of Amistad's 570 students receive free or reduced price meals at the school.
Tri-Cities Community Health approached the district in May about the project. The health care provider is expected to use part of a $500,000 federal grant to build the clinic in an empty lot between Amistad and the district's administrative offices.
Clinic staff would focus on primary care needs for students, such as basic examinations and sports physicals. No family planning services will be available. Students will pay based on their ability to do so but no student will be turned away for inability to pay.
Superintendent Dave Bond said the clinic is expected to be a portable structure. Tri-Cities Community Health will be responsible for sidewalks, landscaping and all the other costs of operation.
The district sent surveys about the clinic to 4,300 residents and 279 responded. More than 80 percent of respondents were in favor of the clinic, but also said it needs to be open to all students and not take money away from education.
-- Board members had a preliminary look at plans for a rebuilt Eastgate Elementary. Capital projects director Doug Carl said the school would be based on the two-story design of Cottonwood Elementary, but with four additional classrooms.
The 55,000-square-foot building is expected to be built in an open field just south of the current building. The old building would be demolished when the new one opens.
The district is aiming to start construction on the roughly $16 million project in the 2014-15 school year and have it finished in time for the 2015-16 school year.
-- Kaylee McClure joined the board as its student representative for the 2013-14 school year. She is a senior at Kamiakin High School.
-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; email@example.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver