The Kennewick School District hasn't yet asked voters for a planned bond to pay for new schools, but it is already taking steps to get the projects ready for construction.
District officials are requesting a conditional permit for 27 acres of land on Clodfelter Road south of its intersection with 10th Avenue, documents show. The district plans to construct a new 110,000-square-foot middle school at the site.
"We anticipate that the school board will finalize a deal on the property in September," district spokeswoman Robyn Chastain told the Herald.
County officials are reviewing the district's permit request and people have about two weeks to weigh in with their comments.
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A bond worth between $85 million and $95 million has been discussed in preliminary proposals. It would pay for five projects -- two new elementary schools and a new middle school and renovation of Westgate Elementary School and Desert Hills Middle School.
The school board is expected to decide by November whether to put the bond before voters on a special election ballot in February.
The area around the proposed middle school is surrounded primarily by agricultural property and scrubland, but is near the proposed Badger Canyon Apartments, a 642-unit apartment complex also under review by county officials.
The school's overall layout would be square, based on plans filed with the county. It would have two two-story classroom wings containing 22 classrooms apiece. There also would be two full basketball courts in the gym and a wrestling room.
Two softball fields, two baseball fields and a football field would make up the rest of the campus.
How much the bond would cost taxpayers depends on its value, but at $90 million -- halfway between the low and high proposals -- it would cost a taxpayer with property assessed at $200,000 another $62 a year in property taxes, the district's financial consultants have said.