Business Briefs — August 2016

MSA Syngery Network hosts women’s panel

Nearly 300 people attended the Mission Support Alliance (MSA) Synergy Network women’s panel discussion, “The Role of Mentoring in Career Success” in early August.

The panel consisted of Stacy Charbonneau, associate principal deputy assistant secretary for field operations, Department of Energy-Environmental Management; Joyce Connery, chairman, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board; Diahann Howard, director of economic development and governmental affairs, Port of Benton; Peggy McCullough, project manager, Bechtel National Inc., Waste Treatment Plant; and Alex Smith, manager, Department of Ecology Nuclear Waste Program.

The panelists shared their knowledge and experience, and answered questions on mentoring and career growth from the Synergy Network and audience members. MSA’s Synergy Network is a company-wide effort designed to empower and educate female employees.

The Synergy Network is a forum to build connections and provide opportunities for professional and personal growth and development.


State conservation corps to fill 300 positions

Recruitment for 300 jobs to help restore and enhance the environment began in mid-July.

The full-time positions offer environmental career experience for young adults and veterans through the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC). Successful applicants get the chance to work on restoration projects, environmental education and disaster response in communities across the state. In addition to hands-on experience, member benefits include a $5,775 scholarship upon completing one year of service, or 1,700 hours.

Full-time members are eligible for educational loan forbearance, health insurance and Washington state minimum wage throughout the year.

WCC, housed within Washington Department of Ecology and in partnership with AmeriCorps, provides annual positions for those age 18-25, with no age restrictions for Gulf War Era II veterans, reservists and dependents. Work begins Oct. 3.

Learn more or apply at


COHE renews L&I contract, adds Klickitat office

The Center of Occupational Health and Education (COHE) Community of Eastern Washington, a program of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, has renewed its three-year contract with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to continue getting injured employees back to work.

Additionally, COHE Community of Eastern Washington expanded its services to Klickitat County to assist more employers and injured workers through the workers’ compensation process. COHE now covers 20 counties in eastern and central Washington, with offices in Yakima, Spokane, Wenatchee and the Tri-Cities.

For more information, visit


Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk set for Oct. 15

The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 1-mile walk/run and 5K-walk/run is 9 a.m. Oct. 15 at at Columbia Park. More than one million volunteers nationwide raise money and participate in the cancer society’s noncompetitive walks to support all affected by breast cancer, including survivors, patients, caregivers and the millions saved through early detection.

The event raises money for breast cancer research, education and patient services. Call 509-783-1574 or email for more information.


Agencies end agreement, free up capital funds

The Port of Benton, the Port of Kennewick, Benton County, and the cities of Benton City, Kennewick, Prosser, West Richland and Richland recently terminated of the “Amended and Restated Debt Participation Agreement for Jail and District Court Expansion” signed in 2001.

Ending the agreement will free up use of Benton County’s Rural County Capital Fund for other economic development projects in Benton County, the cities and the ports. The fund was established in 1998 to leverage new projects in the community that would create jobs and diversify the economy. The account is funded by a Washington state sales tax rebate of .09 percent, which is effective until 2022, and is not an additional tax.

This rebate from the state is to be used by Benton County and potentially disbursed to the cities and or the ports for use on economic development projects that meet statutory requirements.

In 2002, the agencies agreed to use the money to repay a portion of the non-voted, general obligation bonds that were used to expand the Benton County Jail and District Court. For the past 14 years, the fund has been used to repay the remaining debt obligation and there is now a cash reserve.

As of late June, Benton County’s allocation formula for the entities eligible for utilization of the Rural County Capital Fund is as follows: Benton County, 10.94 percent; Kennewick, 18.05 percent; Richland, 16.31 percent; West Richland, 10.94 percent; Prosser, 10.94 percent; Benton City, 10.94 percent; Port of Benton, 10.94 percent; and Port of Kennewick, 10.94 percent.


Vessel to evaluate waste mixing arrives at vit plant

A 65-ton test vessel critical to determining the safe mixing and processing of radioactive waste at the Hanford Vit Plant arrived in Richland in mid-July. It was barged up the Columbia River from Vancouver, Wash.

Testing will be conducted on the full-scale prototype vessel to determine mixing performance using nonradioactive materials that are stimulants of the actual waste stream. Proper mixing is required to safely process and treat the waste at the Vit Plant’s Pretreatment facility. It will be loaded into the full-scale vessel test facility through the roof and placed in a specially designed test stand, a process that will take several months. The year-long testing program is scheduled to begin late this year.

Bechtel is building the vit plant, also known as the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Hanford site. When complete, it will turn most of the 56 million gallons of the country’s most complex nuclear waste currently stored in tanks on the Hanford site into a solid glass form for disposal.

For more information visit


WSU career fair registration open through Sept. 15

Registration is open for employers who want to host a booth at the Washington State University Tri-Cities Career Fair, which will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Consolidated Information Center building on campus.

The annual career fair attracts student, alumni and job seekers. It helps employers seeking workers while allowing WSU students to connect with potential jobs and internships.

Registration deadline is Sept. 15; cost is $75. Register or get more information at


Trios Foundation to host Gala D’Vine fundraiser

The Trios Foundation will hold its annual black tie optional fundraising event, Gala D’Vine on Oct. 15 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

The event attracts more than 450 people every year and typically raises about $200,000 to support programs and equipment for Trios Health. This year’s funds will be directed to renovations at Trios Women’s and Children’s Hospital, including expansion of its Family Birthing Center.

Tickets cost $125 and may be purchased by calling 509-221-5776 or online at Sponsorships are also available.


WSU receives grants to grow nursing workforce

The Washington State University College of Nursing received three federal grants totaling $1.1 million to reduce health disparities in Washington, increase access to healthcare providers in rural and underserved areas and expand nurse educator preparation.

Debbie Nogueras, academic director and associate dean for WSU Tri-Cities nursing programs, is the primary investigator for two of the grants: Nursing Pathways and Advanced Nursing Traineeship. Lori Brown at WSU Spokane will manage the Nurse Faculty Loan program.


More food gardening space to be built for needy

Washington State University Extension Master Gardeners will select and build 50 new garden beds to provide more food gardening space for low-income and disadvantaged persons in Benton and Franklin counties this fall and next spring as part of its Build a Bed to Feed a Family program. Up to $200 in gardening materials, supplies and tools will be provided for each new bed.

The goal is that gardeners grow and consume fresh and nutritious produce from their garden bed.

United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties has provided a $10,000 grant to fund the program through next June.

Applications are due Aug. 31 and available at the WSU Extension office, 5600 W. Canal Drive, Suite E, Kennewick, or by request via email:


Downtown Pasco launches crowd-funding event

The Downtown Pasco Development Authority is launching a new crowd-funding and community-building event in downtown Pasco called Pasco SOUP, sponsored in part by Coldwell Banker.

Pasco SOUP is based on a Detroit, Mich., which started in 2010. At the event, four presenters give short talks on new business, nonprofit or community projects they’re starting in Pasco. The winning presenter receives a cash prize donated by audience members at the door. The only rule for proposals is that the startup or project must operate within Pasco city limits.

The first SOUP event is Sept. 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Don Antonio’s Restaurant at 528 W. Clark St., Pasco. Cost is $5 per person. Winning presenters return to a future SOUP event and give a progress report.

Apply at or get more information by contacting Pasco SOUP coordinator Isaac Myhrum at 509-440-4264 or


Parade of Homes features homes by 16 local builders

The Home Builders Association’s (HBA) Parade of Homes is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10-11, 1-7 p.m. Sept. 14 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17-18.

Seventeen homes presented by 16 builders will be on display at the annual event.

Tickets will be available at all area Circle K locations starting Sept. 5. For more information, call the HBA office at 509-735-2745.


Trios re-designated as Level III Trauma Center

In early July, Trios Health received its re-designation as a Level III Trauma Center by the Washington State Department of Health. The designation is for adult and pediatric trauma services.

Trios Southridge Hospital in Kennewick is the only hospital in the Tri-Cities to hold a pediatric trauma services designation. Trauma center designations are reevaluated by the state every three years.

Trios Health is Kennewick Public Hospital District’s system of care serving the greater Tri-Cities.


Women Helping Women fundraiser set for Oct. 13

The Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities’ luncheon is scheduled for Oct. 13 at the TRAC facility in Pasco.

The keynote speaker is Courtney Clark, who, at age 26, beat melanoma. Five years later, she underwent a series of brain surgeries to remove an aneurysm in her brain that was close to hemorrhaging. Today, she works with people who want to adapt when stakes are high and life doesn’t go according to plan.

The group plans to host more than 1,000 people and raise $100,000 for programs that will support the unmet needs of local women and children.

Tickets are $100 each and all money raised goes toward local people in need. Email for sponsorship information or about becoming a table captain.


Gov. Inslee plus 45 governors sign compact

In July, Gov. Jay Inslee, along with 45 other governors, signed the Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction. By signing the resolution, the governors agree to increase their efforts to fight the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, including taking steps to reduce inappropriate prescribing, change people’s understanding of opioids, and ensure a pathway to treatment and recovery for those suffering from addiction.

About 600 people die every year in Washington from opioid overdose. In late 2015, the state set aside $6 million in new funding to fight opioid addiction, including medication-assisted treatment.

Washington also will receive $3 million in federal funding to provide treatment services over the next three years. Tax funding from retail marijuana sales will support an expansion in adolescent treatment and community based prevention services.


McCurley Integrity Subaru to provide books

McCurley Integrity Subaru and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have partnered to provide science books to local schools. As part of a nationwide initiative, Subaru Loves Learning, McCurley hopes to promote a commitment to education during the month of August.

Through Aug. 31, McCurley Integrity Subaru will donate an award-winning science book to local school districts on behalf of each visitor to the dealership at 9620 Sandifur Parkway in Pasco.

AAAS has more than 100,000 members who aim to provide information on the latest developments in science, seeking to advance science, engineering and innovation. Call McCurley Integrity Subaru at 509-547-5555 for more information.


Educational Bigfoot conference set for Sept. 2-4

The International Bigfoot Conference is set for Labor Day weekend at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. More than 15 speakers will present at the educational and informational conference.

Tickets for the three-day event are $45 for adults, or $25 for those 12 and under. A dollar of every ticket will go to support Time of Remembrance, a nonprofit that helps support families in Washington who have lost a family member while serving in the military.

For tickets, information or vendor opportunities, visit


State warns consumers about lending scams

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions warns consumers to verify any lender from which they consider obtaining a payday loan holds a Washington State license for providing payday loan services. Before doing business with a financial institution, company, or individual, consumers should make sure the entity is properly licensed.

Recent complaints have been made against Rosebud Lending, doing business as First Pay Loans, as well as a representative claiming to be from First Recovery.

If contacted by a party attempting to collect a debt that a consumer doesn’t think he owes, he should request that the party provide a written validation notice, which must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor allegedly owed, and the rights he has under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Call 877-382-4357 for more information.


Lourdes Health to celebrate ‘A Century of Caring’

Lourdes is celebrating its 100-year anniversary with a Black Tie Gala Sept. 24 at the Pasco Red Lion.

Money raised at the event will support patient safety through the acquisition of a new, state-of-the-art nurse call system that will provide proactive alerts regarding patient, room and bed status directly to caregivers. This real-time information will increase patient safety and satisfaction.

Lourdes Administration, Lourdes Foundation and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet are hosts of the event. For information, contact Wendee Bodnar at 509-543-2412 or


Rotary clubs’ Duck Race ticket sales underway

More than 400 Rotarians are selling Duck Race tickets to raise money to support local human service organizations and projects. Sponsored by Banner Bank and Toyota of Tri-Cities, the annual cooperative fundraising effort of six local Rotary clubs has raised more than $2 million since its inception 28 years ago. The sales season wraps up on race day Oct. 8 at Columbia Park in Kennewick.

Tickets are $5 and buyers must be at least 18 years of age. The grand prize is a new 2016 Toyota Prius Two donated by Toyota of Tri-Cities.

For a full list of prize donors, ticket outlets and event supporters, visit or Mid-Columbia Duck Race on Facebook.


Apple harvest predicted to be up 15 percent

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) expects the 2016 apple crop to be 132.9 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples, up 15 percent over 2015’s 115 million-box crop, but down 6 percent from the 2014 record crop of 141.8 million boxes.

Red Delicious is forecast to come in at 25 percent of production, followed by Gala at 23 percent, Fuji at 14 percent and Granny Smith at 13 percent. Honeycrisp is expected to come in at 7 percent and Cripps Pinks at 4 percent.

This year’s large crop is due to favorable weather, which also allowed for harvest to begin one to two weeks earlier than normal.

The forecast is based on a survey of WSTFA members and represents a best estimate of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market, excluding product sent to processor.

Apple harvest typically begins in early August and continues into November, and as a result the forecast is subject to several months of variable weather that can affect the final season’s crop total.


Committee recruiting disability advocates

The Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, administered by the Employment Security Department, is seeking new members to identify concerns pertaining to the rights and needs of people with disabilities.

The committee advises the governor, Legislature, state agencies, business community, organized labor, public and private organizations, as well as the general public. Committee members make policy recommendations with an emphasis on increasing opportunities for independence and employment.

Members must have a disability, have a family member with a disability, or work as advocates for people with disabilities. Terms are for three years. Application deadline is Aug. 31. Call 360-902-9362 or visit for more information.


Arts Center Task Force to host masquerade

Mystic Party Solutions and the Arts Center Task Force have partnered to host a charitable ball to showcase local talent performances by Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre, Mid-Columbia Symphony and Mid-Columbia Ballet, as well as raise funds for a performing arts center in the Vista Field Development in Kennewick.

The event is Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Uptown Theater in Richland. General admission is $65; VIP admission is $95. Appetizers are included in both prices; VIP tickets include special access, gift bag and extra desserts. Masks are required and early ticket purchases are encouraged so attendees can plan their attire.

Tickets are available via


HBA’s Fall Home Show set for Oct. 7-9

The Home Builders Association’s annual Fall Home Show is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 7-8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 9 at TRAC in Pasco. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under the age of 16.

For information on exhibiting, call 509-735-2745 or visit


AG files $100 million suit against Comcast Corp.

Washington State Attorney General (AG) Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit Aug. 1 against cable television and Internet giant Comcast Corporation in King County Superior Court, alleging the company’s own documents reveal a pattern of illegally deceiving its customers to pad their bottom line by tens of millions of dollars.

The suit accuses Comcast of more than 1.8 million violations of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA), including misrepresenting the scope of its Service Protection Plan, charging customers improper service call fees and improper credit screening practices. It also accuses the company of violating the CPA to all its nearly 1.2 million Washington subscribers due to what the AG calls its deceptive “Comcast Guarantee.”

The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the nation. The AG’s office presented the issues to Comcast more than a year prior to filing the suit, but the company didn’t begin to make any changes until the verge of litigation. For its CPA violations, the AG’s office is seeking more than $73 million in restitution to pay back Service Protection Plan subscriber payments, full restitution for service calls that applied an improper resolution code, removing improper credit checks from more than 6,000 customers, up to $2,000 per violation of the CPA and broad injunctive relief.

For more information on the lawsuit, visit


Prosser chamber hosts Valley’s Got Talent contest

The Prosser Chamber of Commerce’s 5th annual The Valley’s Got Talent contest is underway.

The preliminary competition is Aug. 27 at Prosser’s Historic Princess Theatre. All ages and talents are welcome, though the chamber reserves the right to decline talents that may not be family-friendly.

Walk-up registration is allowed if there is space but the competition caps at 30 contestants. The top 10 contestants as selected by judges will participate in the States Day Parade, with the final competition at 2 p.m. Sept. 5 on the Sylvan Stage in Prosser City Park. First place prize is $500, second place is $250 and third place is $100. Pre-registration is $12; sign up at

Call 509-786-3177 or email with questions.


Radiochemistry training offered to grad students

Washington State University has launched a new radiochemistry training program to address a critical shortage of scientists in the nuclear energy industry. Supported by a $3 million U.S. Department of Energy grant, the program will enhance training at WSU and let graduate students work alongside radiochemistry experts at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the next five years.

During the first academic year of the two-year program, students will conduct independent research under the guidance of a WSU faculty member and their national lab mentor on topics including nuclear forensics, environmental radiochemistry and radioactive waste management.

The following summer, trainees will spend a few weeks up to a few months getting real-world experience at the national laboratories.

During the final summer, students will present their findings at professional meetings.


Group Health adds Trios as in-network provider

Effective Aug. 1, Group Health’s Access PPO added Trios Health System as a preferred provider. Trios Medical Group, which includes primary care providers and specialists, has been and will continue to be part of all Group Health Networks. Trios Health is the Kennewick Public Hospital District’s system of care serving the greater Tri-Cities.

Visit for more information.


Dinner with Friends to feature Steve Largent

This year’s Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties’ annual Dinner with Friends fundraiser event is Oct. 20 at TRAC in Pasco. The corporate fundraising event features former Seahawks star Steve Largent and will raise money for the 2,300-plus local youth members the clubs serve each year. Call 509-543-9980 for more information.


Benton REA members to vote on proposed sale

At its July 27 board meeting, the Benton REA Board of Trustees passed a resolution to propose the sale of Benton REA’s electric service territory within the Yakama Indian Reservation to Yakama Power. Fewer than 1,200 of Benton REA’s 11,400 members reside within the boundaries of the Yakama Indian Reservation.

According to the co-op’s articles of incorporation, at least 25 percent of the entire membership must submit a vote to certify the election, and the sale must be approved by a majority of the accepted votes before the transaction can take place.

Ballots will be mailed to Benton REA members Sept. 16 and the voting period ends Oct. 31. Members may cast their votes via mail-in ballot, online or at a special member meeting in mid-October. For more information, visit


Public safety dollars to assist nonprofits

Benton County has signed a service contract with Safe Harbor Support Center to provide money to the My Friends Place Overnight Emergency Youth Shelter in return for services. The county will contract with Safe Harbor to compensate a total of $123,850 to be prorated monthly from Aug. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2018.

Funding from a public safety tax passed by Benton County citizens in 2014 will allow My Friends Place to refine its case management program and implement a stable system for case management services. Compensation provided via the contract will fund the wages of a case manager and outreach services. My Friends Place is a program under Safe Harbor Support Center, which helps keep at-risk children ages 3-17 safe by providing supportive services. My Friends Place provides an overnight sanctuary for homeless teens age 13-17. Safe Harbor is committed to preventing child abuse and neglect.

The county has also signed a service contract with Mirror Ministries for a human Trafficking Survivor Services program. Benton County will be in contract to compensate $5,000 to be prorated July 1 to Dec. 31. Mirror Ministries will bring trafficking information and training to local schools, businesses and agencies, which allows for earlier identification and intervention for victims. Public Safety Tax dollars will be used to fund staff wages and victim services.


Chamber’s Barn Burner moves to Middleton Farms

The Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s annual Barn Burner fundraiser is Oct. 1 at Middleton Six Sons Farms, 1050 Pasco-Kahlotus Road in Pasco. Sponsorships and tickets are available by calling 509-547-9755 or at


Richland seeks input for Comprehensive Plan

The city of Richland will hold two public meetings as part of its Comprehensive Plan update. The plan reflects community values and a vision for the future and guides the city in determining where new housing, shopping, jobs and infrastructure will be located over the next 20 years, according to a city release.

The meetings are 6-8 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive and Sept. 7 at Orchard Elementary School, 1600 Gala Way.

Participants will learn about the current plan, the updating process and how they can provide valuable input. City staff and the consultant team will be on hand to answer questions. There is no cost to attend the meetings.

For more information visit You also can stay updated on the planning process by signing up for electronic notifications,


Pasco auto dealership changes owners

All Star Motors in Pasco has been bought by Puyallup-based Northwest Motorsport.

Butch and Julie Lindstrom of Pasco recently sold their dealership at 816 N. Road 28. Their last day of operation is Sept. 9.

The couple went into business in 1997 as Bulldog Motors. Last year they built a new 2,500-square-foot, two-story dealership.

Northwest Motorsport bought the building, land and All Star Motors’ inventory of about 150 cars, said Julie Lindstrom. All Star Motors’ 22 employees will transition to work for Northwest Motorsport.

Butch Lindstrom plans to work for Northwest Motorsport. “He’s dedicated to helping Northwest Motorsport be successful in this area,” said Julie Lindstrom.


WSU Clothing, Textile Advisors to meet

The Washington State University Clothing and Textile Advisors of Washington (CTAW) will hold its annual meeting for the first time on the east side of the state in Kennewick from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 8 at Tri-Tech Skills Center.

This year’s event, “From Design to Divine” costs $25 for registration before Sept. 1, and includes lunch, program and a day of textile treats. Advisers will create and embellish masquerade masks ahead of time and bringing them to the event for onsite judging and awards.

Debbie Bone-Harris, a local artist and Clothing and Textile Advisor with a master’s degree from WSU in Clothing and Textile Design, is the keynote speaker. Bone-Harris has won numerous national awards and has been featured in several national magazines.

There will also be a Show and Share Design display, a CTAW version of the famous Theatre de la Mode, and the state program leader from WSU Extension will speak about the future of the CTAW program. For more information, call 509-392-1392.


Update to feature Congressman Dan Newhouse

The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Congressional Update event is at the Three Rivers Convention Center on Aug. 24, beginning with registration and networking from 11:30 a.m. to noon. and the program from noon-1:30 p.m.

Congressman Dan Newhouse R–Wash., will provide attendees with legislative updates from Washington, D.C., as well as discuss key federal issues taffecting Central Washington and the Tri-Cities.

Members of the community are invited to register for this event. Cost is $22 for regional chamber members and $32 for others. Reservations are required. The deadline to register is Aug. 19.

To register, visit or contact Jillian Marquez, Project Coordinator at or 509-491-3234. For more information regarding the program and luncheon, call 509-736-0510.


DOE, CH2M HILL fined by Department of Ecology

The Washington State Department of Ecology recently issued a $50,000 penalty to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) for mishandling dangerous waste at the T Plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The Department of Ecology also ordered DOE and CHPRC to designate waste, obtain detailed analysis of dangerous waste before storing and properly maintain records.

T Plant is an active facility that stores and treats dangerous waste as part of the long-term cleanup work at Hanford. Originally, it was built for chemical separation of plutonium from uranium and fission products contained in irradiated fuel elements. DOE and CHPRC have the right to appeal the order and penalty within 30 days to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings board. Contractors working for DOE may not use cleanup funds to pay for penalties.


KSD $19.5 million, $40.7 million schools to open

Kennewick School District’s new Sage Crest Elementary School, at 6411 W. 38th Ave., and Desert Hills Middle School, at 1701 S. Clodfelter Road, are ready for students.

Sage Crest has more than 56,000-square feet of space and includes 26 classrooms, gym, cafeteria, library, music room computer lab, two reading rooms and a playground. It was designed by MMEC Architecture and Interiors, and built by Fowler General Construction for about $19.5 million.

Desert Hills Middle School is 110,400-square feet and includes 37 classrooms, two gyms, fitness lab, cafeteria, orchestra and band rooms and five computer labs. Its athletic grounds include its own track.

Design West designed Desert Hills and Fowler General Construction built it for about $40.7 million.

An $89.5 million bond, approved by voters in 2015, along with state matching dollars paid for the schools. The bond will also pay for a rebuild of Westgate Elementary School, new Chinook Middle School and the district’s 16th elementary school, slated for the Clearwater Creek development in west Kennewick.


MCL launches Community stories campaign

Mid-Columbia Libraries recently launched MCL Speaks, a collection of videos and still photography featuring library customers, staff and fans speaking about the transformative power of libraries.

Answers to the question, “How has library shaped your life?” include joyful memories, humor, inspiring reflections and shared experiences.

Since 1949, MCL has grown to 12 branches and a Bookmobile. It offers more than 400,000 books, audio books, magazines and videos, including more than 50,000 remotely downloadable eBooks, audio books and magazines.

View the MCL Speaks stories at

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