Planning underway for $141 million in Richland school construction projects

Richland School District will see $141 million in construction projects in the coming years after passing a successful construction bond last month.

District voters gave the green light for a $99 million bond with 61 percent approval, or 9,529 yes votes to 5,967 no votes.

The district is now establishing timelines for the construction projects.

“We thank district residents for their show of support,” district Superintendent Rick Schulte said. “It’s a positive result for the entire community.”

The projects include $42 million in state matching money. The district expects to retire the bond debt in 15 years.

“The citizens of Richland and West Richland realized there was a need to keep improving our facility and have responded in a big way,” said Rick Jansons, president of the Richland School Board.

Planning for the following construction and renovations can now proceed. 

Here’s what’s planned:

• Replace Badger Mountain Elementary School and Tapteal Elementary School in West Richland. Cost for both schools is $51.2 million. The 1978 buildings are too small, inefficient and electrical and mechanical systems are failing. The current 48,000- square-foot buildings will grow to 65,000 square feet.

• Build two new elementary schools, a $48 million combined project: a new elementary school on Belmont Boulevard in West Richland and a new elementary school in south Richland, at a site to be determined.

• Make $8 million in auditorium improvements at Richland High School. Work includes replacing 1,500 seats, adding 800-square-feet of restrooms, adding a center aisle and replacing stage curtains, riggings, wood floor, sound and lighting systems.

• Make $10 million in home-side improvements and install field turf at Fran Rish Stadium at Richland High School. The home side bleachers, locker rooms and restrooms don’t meet health and safety codes, the track needs resurfacing and the grass field can host about 10 varsity football gams per year and no playoff games.

• Make $6 million in athletic field improvements, including installing bleachers, restrooms and field turf at Hanford High.

• Build a new $10 million district teaching/learning/administrative center to replace a 70-year-old building that isn’t big enough to house the central administration departments.

• The Jefferson Elementary 1982 wing will be repurposed into a $1.4 million preschool center.

• Classroom additions and land purchases totaling $7 million.

For more information about Richland School District’s projects, visit

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