West Valley School Board bond would replace and revamp three sch - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Valley School Board bond would replace and revamp three schools

West Valley School Board bond would replace and revamp three schools

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YAKIMA, WA - The West Valley School Board is working to convince voters to approve an $82 million bond measure to replace or revamp three schools in the district.

The bond, along with $21 million in state matching funds, would pay to completely reconstruct Apple Valley and Summitview Elementary schools on their current campuses and to modernize West Valley Junior High.

Eva Lust-Wright, Principal of Summitview Elementary, says not only is a lack of classroom space an issue for the school, but it is so behind in modern technology that students don't have access to necessary resources.

Lust-Wright says, "Even getting these kids ready for the state test or the smarter balance, we're asking third and fourth graders to be on a computer all day, and we don't have the infrastructure here to get them fully prepared to be successful in those tests."

Apple Valley Elementary, the school with the highest need for the bond, was modeled after a California style school structure from the 60's and is lacking many basic aspects of an elementary school.

Principal Heidi Sutton says that students are also lacking a cafeteria and multi-purpose room. 

The co-chairs of the bond committee say the root of the problems in these schools is the area's rapidly growing population.

Gretchen Thorner and Kate Loeb say, "In order to keep class sizes at a manageable number, we have to have space to put students, and with so many housing communities coming into this area, we don't have anywhere to put them."

Both chairs are parents in the district...and say changes need to be made now in order for their kids to get the quality educations they deserve.

Thorner and Loeb say, "If we can't get new schools built, then they're not going to have the opportunity that another child is gonna have."

The bond measure is being placed on the February primary election ballot.