School construction could boost business growth - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

School construction could boost business growth

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- It took years to pass the bond to replace Eisenhower High School. Now, School District leaders are drafting plans and looking to better the entire community in the process.

What does a 114-million dollar school bond get you? A new high school, some remodeling and possibly an economic boost.

"When our community steps up and supports levies or bond that's a really strong signal and when we can tout that as a result of that two new schools. That's definitely a signal we're moving in the right direction," said Dave McFadden, New Vision.

Since the bond passed with a majority approval, the school district has been busy creating plans for the new Eisenhower High School.

"We've had a lot of public comment periods and in addition we have a Web site that allows any member of the public to comment and I think at last count we had over 30 thousand hits on that Web site," said Dr. Elaine Beraza, superintendent, Yakima School District. 

Dr. Beraza said the old school is 225 thousand square feet, the new school will be larger at 320 thousand square feet. Ike's athletic space will double and the school will feature modern technology.

"And we're really looking for something the public looks at with pride, but doesn't feel as if their money was wasted so we're look for really strong infrastructure," said Beraza.

"You know one of the first questions we ever get from a company is just what's the quality and quantity of your local labor force, well that's wholly dependent or mostly dependent on the quality of our local schools," said McFadden.

Conceptual designs and renderings have been released for the Ike project. By this fall more detailed drawings should be complete, when those are finalized the project will go to bid for construction. Eisenhower should be complete by 2013.

Eisenhower isn't the only school in need of updating. Davis High School will be modernized in phases and should be completed after the Eisenhower construction.