Wapato's new elementary celebrates ribbon cutting - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wapato's new elementary celebrates ribbon cutting

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WAPATO, WA - After a long wait, the Wapato School District is happy to announce they have a brand new elementary school.

The name will be Simcoe Elementary. Simcoe was actually the name of the town itself at first, but due to confusion back in 1903, the town changed its name to Wapato.

Today's ribbon cutting ceremony was possible because of a state grant the Wapato School District received. In 2016, the district applied for a $13.7 million grant.

After receiving the grant they began building the 64,000 square-foot facility, which did not take any money from the local taxpayers.

State representatives, district and community members all toured the new facility for the first time today. The principal of this new school told us why the elementary will only focus on kindergarten through second grade.

"With smaller size classrooms, this way we will be able to provide quality service, education for the students," said Principal Maria Bataro. "It's a smaller setting."

When students are done with second grade at Simcoe, they will go onto Adams Elementary to finish the rest of their primary education.

The school will open its doors for summer school and will begin a new school year this September.

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