JUST ASK SHANE: Update on Richland School Construction Projects - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

JUST ASK SHANE: Update on Richland School Construction Projects

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RICHLAND, WA - Some Richland taxpayers are a little upset about the slow progress the school district is making with the construction projects that were approved as part of last year's bond.

Alan sent me an email saying, "Last year, Richland citizens passed a school bond to fund a bunch of new schools.  We were told the new elementary school in south Richland would be fast-tracked to ease the crowded conditions at other schools.  But we haven't seen much progress since then.  What happened to all the urgency?  Can you find out what's going on?"

We talked with the Richland School District, and they tell us six of the nine designated projects are underway now.  The four elementary school projects are in the design phase, or under construction. Lewis & Clark Elementary broke ground, and a bid was just awarded Tuesday night for construction on Sacajawea Elementary School.  Crews are replacing the HVAC system at Chief Joseph Middle School, and that work will be finished in August.  And safety improvements for Fran Rish Stadium are in the design phase, and work there will start in November.

"Immediately, planning, design work starts to take place and that's been going on. We've also broken ground on a couple of projects so the school board has been very diligent about wanting to keep these projects on schedule and within budget. So far, it's going very well," said Steve Aagaard with the Richland School District.

The total cost for the nine projects is $130 million.  Next Tuesday, the Richland School Board will discuss possible sites for the HomeLink program and a new middle school.

Remember, if you've got a question about something going on in our community... send it my way.  You can reach me in the newsroom at (509) 737-6738, or send me an email at JustAskShane@nbcrightnow.com