Prosser schools seek options

Task force will recommend next steps

— A task force tomorrow will present its final recommendations for the School District’s building issues.

The School Board will hear the recommendations at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Keene-Riverview Elementary School, 832 Park Ave.

The district had four community meetings in the spring to give input to the task force on what officials say are outdated buildings.

Options on the table include building a new high school at a new site or consolidating from three elementary schools to two.

The district’s last newly-built school building was in 1960, Prosser Heights Elementary School, officials said.

Sunnyside, by contrast, just completed construction of its third new school building in the last 10 years. That doesn’t include recent upgrades or expansion, such as at the high school

The last building remodel was 20 years ago for the middle school, officials said.

One task force member, Ed Thornburgh, has noted a detailed inspection report shows all school buildings are failing except the middle school.

Schools are relying heavily on portables, some in use for more than 30 years and others lacking running water, he said.

Based on the task force’s findings and report, the School Board may consider a bond measure this December for the February 2017 ballot.

A $39 million bond proposal failed in 2011. It received 57 percent approval, short of the 60 percent super-majority required for passage.

Prior to the task force’s presentation, the School Board will meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow in the same location to interview student board representative candidates.


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