Basic designs for the future home of Delta High School were unveiled Tuesday night at meetings of the Pasco and Richland school boards.
They feature large science and engineering labs, interactive interactive classroom technology, and enhanced security measures -- including 32 cameras and advanced door locks.
The two-story layout is similar to sketches developed last year, but district officials said this was the first time the designs were publicly displayed.
The $17.1 million project needs more work before construction begins at the school's future west Pasco location. The plans shown Tuesday are not final blueprints.
But district officials and board members said everything is moving forward, and they aim to open the school in August 2015.
"It's nice to see it down in black and white," Pasco President Sherry Lancon said of the plans.
The Pasco, Kennewick and Richland school districts operate Delta High, a science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, school, with support from the Washington State STEM Education Foundation and private partners.
The districts have worked since last year to build a new home for Delta High's 400 students near the intersection of Broadmoor Boulevard and Sandifur Parkway. The school currently uses buildings in central Richland leased from Columbia Basin College, space that doesn't fully meet the school's needs and that the college needs back.
John Morgan, Pasco's assistant superintendent for operations, said the concrete, masonry and concrete design makes the most of the 45,000 square feet of space the project was limited to.
"It's a very aesthetically pleasing structure," he said.
There will be places for students to congregate inside and outside to collaborate on projects, Morgan said. Wireless Internet will be available throughout and classrooms will come with projectors and whiteboards with interactive features.
Students will use the engineering lab to fabricate models and better learn how devices work, from electronics to musical instruments.
"There's a number of projects where we want them to be hands on and get dirty," Delta High Principal Jenny Rodriquez told Pasco board members.
The school will meet green building standards. Along with security cameras and key card locks, there will be an emergency radio system and a button that can lock down the entire building. The school will lack some things typical to a high school, such as a gym and athletic playing fields.
Pasco board members approved the schematic design as part of their consent agenda.
Richland board members did not take action on the plans and made brief comments. Board member Phyllis Strickler said she'd prefer slanted roofs rather than the flat ones shown on the designs.
Richland Superintendent Rick Schulte said he thought the building was expensive to build given its size, but added he's still learning about the program and its needs.
Money provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the state Legislature is paying for the bulk of the project. Donations collected by the STEM foundation also are being used, along with funds set aside by the Pasco and Kennewick districts.
While a year away from breaking ground, Pasco district officials said there's a lot of excitement around the project. Residents near the construction site have offered to help the school once students move in.
"The community wants to share if given the opportunity," Lancon said.