Wapato elementary school gets four new classrooms - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wapato elementary school gets four new classrooms

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WAPATO, WA - Four new classrooms at Adams Elementary in Wapato are now complete.

"When I got up this morning, I was thinking about how many lives these four buildings will touch," said Becky Imler, Wapato School District Superintendent.

The price of the new classrooms? Zero, thanks to a pilot project funded by state legislature. 

The Wapato School District is one of only five in the entire state to be selected for this project.

"It's our future we are going to keep moving forward and put efforts in, so that the next generation is able to succeed and to lead," said Gina McCabe with the 14th Legislative District.

This will reduce class sizes for students in first grade and improve the quality of learning for the school.

"The first grade team is going to be able to come together and put all of their resources and the school's resources that we need to support students in the first grade all in one spot," said Adams Elementary Principal Ben Newell.

What makes these classrooms unique is the materials they're built with, called Cross Laminated Timber, or CLT.

"We laminate timbers together from panels, and the panels become the structure," said Brian Holecek, operations manager at Graham Construction. "So in this case, we used panels on the exterior and on the interior."

Because of the materials, classrooms were put together like Legos. This process was also more environmentally and economically friendly.

"We have now a long-term goal to replace our elementary facilities and expand those, so we can have the lower class sizes for K-3," Imler said, "and this is one of the steps in that journey."

The new classrooms will be used in September when the new school year starts.