West Richland’s Leona Libby Middle School nears completion

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West Richland’s second middle school will open in August.

The $35 million Leona Libby Middle School is located at 3259 Belmont Blvd.

Voters passed a bond in 2013 to build the Richland School District’s fourth middle school.

The 108,000-square-foot school will house 800 students in grade six through nine on the 30-acre campus near the intersection of Keene Road and Belmont Boulevard.

Leona Libby will be a STEAM school, which stands for science, technology engineering, arts, and mathematics.

The home of the Chargers is named after the Manhattan Project’s most well-known female scientist. She was on hand when the B Reactor shut down after being “poisoned” by Xenon-135, and worked with the rest of the reactor team to resolve the problem, according to an Atomic Heritage Foundation profile.

After the war, she returned to Chicago and served as a fellow at the Institute for Nuclear Studies. She later did further work in a number of laboratories studying particle physics, and published more than 200 scientific papers and several books. She died in 1986.

Andre Hargunani is the school’s principal.

Fowler General Construction of Richland is the general contractor.

Design West Architects of Pullman designed the school.