Wapato School District wants new high school - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wapato School District wants new high school

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WAPATO, Wash. -- The Wapato School Board approved a $20 million dollar construction bond proposal Monday night to build a new high school.

The money would also pay for renovations to the gymnasium, as well as the 100 Building.

School leaders say improvements to the high school will really benefit the needs of teachers, staff and students.

"Actually, it (high school building) is sound and will be for quite some time. Is it meeting our needs? Not by a long shot. Classrooms don't have enough power, don't have enough lights. We suffer huge spreads in temperature," said Wayne Brown, principal of Wapato High School.

If the bond passes, the school would qualify for $23 million in state matching funds.

The new high school would be built around a new Science Wing to be constructed in 2011 and paid for with a $3.7 million Federal Impact Aid Grant the district was awarded last spring.

Construction would begin in 2012 and be completed in several phases by the 2014-2015 school year.

The measure will appear on the February 8, 2011 ballot for voters to decides. The construction bond will need a 60 percent super majority to pass.

Mike Balmelli, spokesperson for the Wapato School District stated that "all of the District's existing voted bond debt will be paid off at the end of 2011."