Kennewick to ask voters to help build school, remodel others

KENNEWICK - The Kennewick School District plans to ask voters in March to spend $68 million to build a new elementary school and remodel a handful of other schools.

The school board Wednesday settled on the project's price tag. District officials are working to firm up the bond rate, or the amount property owners will pay per $1,000 of assessed value, said Superintendent Dave Bond.

That'll happen by mid-November, he said.

If voters pass the bond measure, the new elementary school will be built on land the district owns in the Badger Canyon area. It'll be the 14th elementary school in the district.

Four other elementary schools also will be remodeled if the project is approved, including Canyon View on West 22nd Place.

That school was built in 1978 and hasn't been renovated since, said Principal Brenda Mehlenbacher.

There's duct tape on the floors and students sometimes have to sit in the hallways for individual instruction time, she said.

If the remodel happens, "We'll have the space and the functionality we need to serve the community and students and keep up with the changing times," she said.

Southgate, Sunset View and Cascade elementaries also are on the remodel list.

A fifth elementary school - Lincoln Elementary - will be remodeled as long as matching money from the state comes through. Some other capital projects in the district also will be completed if that happens.

The board is expected to discuss the bond rate at its Nov. 12 meeting and the ballot resolution in December.

Ballots will go out in February, and the election is March 10.