Investing in Kennewick's Future

Student enrollment in Kennewick schools has increased by more than 2,000 students during the past six years. There are now 119 portable classrooms surrounding our schools.

On February 10, 2015, Kennewick voters approved a $89,500,000 bond measure to build two new middle schools, three new elementary schools, and make other district-wide health, safety, educational and infrastructure improvements.

Projects Overview

The district will complete the following projects:

  • Replace Desert Hills Middle School with a new school on a site adjacent to Clodfelter Road (Opens fall 2016)
  • Build new Sage Crest Elementary School at the Sagecrest site (Opens fall 2016)
  • Build new Chinook Middle School at the intersection of 27th Avenue and Southridge Boulevard (Opens fall 2017)
  • Replace Westgate Elementary at its current site (Opens fall 2017)
  • Build a new Elementary School #16 at one of two sites to be determined (Opens fall 2018)
  • Complete additional projects including new roofing, and HVAC systems in existing older buildings, IT network upgrades, land for a future high school, land for a future elementary school, pre-Kennewick High School design work, and bond costs/fees.

Note: Completion of all items on the project list is dependent on receipt of state matching dollars. 

Estimated Project Costs 

 Elementary & Middle School Projects $141,500,000 
 Other Capital Projects $14,600,000 
 Projected State Matching Dollars ($66,600,000) 
 TOTAL BOND AMOUNT $89,500,000 

Projected Tax Rate Increase

The estimated 2016 tax rate increase would be 22 cents more per $1,000 of assessed property value than the 2015 rate – or less than $4 per month on a $200,000 home.

Tax Increase

Tax Increase

Tax Increase

$100,000 $22 $1.83
$150,000 $33 $2.75
$200,000 $44 $3.67
$250,000 $55 $4.58

Note: The term of the bond is 20 years.

Total Combined Bond Tax Rates

Kennewick voters are still paying for the 20-year bond that was passed in 2009. The bond debt is structured to decrease over time so that there is not a significant increase when the district asks voters to approve a new bond. Listed below is the total combined tax rate per thousand dollars of assessed property value that includes both the remaining 2009 and estimated 2015 bond amounts.

Actual 2014 $1.50
Projected 2015 $1.54
Projected 2016-29 $1.76
Projected 2030-34 $1.26

Estimated 2016 Tax Rate

Increase Over 2015

Total Interest Cost $42.3M
Final Maturity 2034

NOTE: If the bond does not pass, the bond rate falls to ~ .60 in 2016.

ASSUMPTIONS: Apply $5.0M of PILT fund towards debt service 2016 payment. Property Assessed Value Growth of 2.0% per year. Interest Rate: 4.47%


Robyn Chastain
Director of Communications and Public Relations
(509) 222-7424