It is an exciting time to be part of the Kennewick School District as we continue to experience steady enrollment growth. It comes as no surprise that more and more families are choosing Kennewick as their home because of our great schools, friendly community and employment opportunities in the area.
Our student enrollment has increased by approximately 1,000 students in the past five years – bringing the total to more than 17,350. Increased enrollment brings both opportunities and challenges.
To accommodate students, the district added 20 more portable classrooms this summer – for a total of 115. At the elementary level, there are 57 portable classrooms housing 1,200 students – enough to fill up two elementary schools today.
While no one considers portable classrooms a permanent fix, they do provide us with the ability to temporarily accommodate the overflow of students. They are also a necessity of any growing district to demonstrate the need to build new schools to both the community and the state. The district is currently running out of space at school sites to place portable classrooms and the need to build more schools is inevitable.
Now that the 2009 bond projects are complete, the district will ask voters to approve a new bond in February 2015 to implement the first phase of our Capital Facilities Plan 2013-2023.
The next phase of bond projects includes:
- Building two new elementary schools -- one at the south end and one at the west end of the district
- Building a new middle school
- Building a new (in lieu of) Desert Hills Middle School
- Building a new (in lieu of) Westgate Elementary School
We look forward to providing you with more details about these projects in the coming months.