New and remodeled Kennewick schools nearing completion - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New and remodeled Kennewick schools nearing completion

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  The Kennewick School District is more than half way through building a new school and remodeling another.

Cottonwood Elementary school stands two stories high off Badger Road in Kennewick.  Construction started nearly a year ago.  Now, the outside is mostly completed, and sheet rock is up on the walls inside.  Classrooms have cabinets and a teacher's desk, and grass is starting to grow in the soccer field.  The principal, Mary Ann Kautzky, says, "It's very exciting to see the things that are happening behind the scenes, as far as getting the staff on board, planning and organizing and ordering supplies and equipment."  The school will have a cafeteria, a stage, and a gymnasium.  Those three spaces can be separated or combined to have multiple uses.

Canyon View Elementary is getting a total remodel.  Manager of Facility Planning for KSD, Doug Carl, says, "All the utilities, infrastructure of the building: heating, cooling, plumbing- everything is brand new.  So, it'll feel like a brand new school, although  it's inside part of the walls of the old school."  Inside a new front hallway, you can see a plaque from the school's original dedication in 1978.  It used to be outside the school, but is now inside after an addition.

Mark Stephens, Principal for Canyon View, says the kids, who are currently attending classes at the Fruitland Building, are excited to move back into the remodeled school.  Stephens says, "A new piece for us will be the new cafeteria, so students will no longer be eating lunch in the classrooms."

KSD says both Cottonwood and Canyon View are being built to Washington Sustainable Schools standards. Carl explains, "Make sure that you are using sustainable products, green products.. that are going to last, that have been recycled, or that will be good for the environment."

Money for the new building and remodeling is coming from bonds passed by Kennewick voters.  "Everything is on-time, and under-budget," says Carl.  He says both schools will be completed by August and ready for students to start classes Aug. 30.  Also, there will be open houses in August.