Kennewick Elementary Schools Upgraded and Under Budget - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Elementary Schools Upgraded and Under Budget

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Kennewick voters agreed four years ago that the city's elementary schools needed some updates. 

After passing a $68-million bond to do that in 2009, the school district is now preparing for the last of those renovations. Sunset View, Southgate, Cascade and Lincoln Elementaries were the district's top priorities when the bond projects were decided. The last of those to be updated is Lincoln. 

"30 years ago, they were great. Today, not so much," said capital projects manager Doug Carl.

At Lincoln Elementary, heating and cooling infrastructure is outdate. The pipes are under the concrete, in the ground.

"We've cut up the concrete in this building numerous times. In fact, so much so that we quit patching it back. We went to putting metal plates in because we anticipate were going to have to be back," Carl said.

Construction at Cascade Elementary is almost finished. Students will return there this fall.

"The teaching and learning environments in our new schools is just so improved. Staff and teachers have had a lot of input in making them the best possible buildings," said district spokesperson Lorraine Cooper.

Schools are moved to the district's Fruitland building during renovations. As Lincoln prepares to make their move it seems staff there are going full circle. The Fruitland building was closed in the 80's as another new school opened.
"Lincoln was the school that opened. Their staff moved from the Fruitland building to open Lincoln back in 84. Now they're kind of going home," Carl said.

The Kennewick School District will hold an informational meeting about the Lincoln move to Fruitland. That meeting is Tuesday night at 6:30 in the Lincoln gymnasium.