Kennewick Schools Celebrate Year of Growth, New High School

It has been an exciting year in the Kennewick School District – a year marked by growth, expansion and innovation.

We celebrated milestones including the opening of the new Kennewick High School, the addition of classrooms and sports facilities upgrades at Kamiakin and Southridge High Schools, and the launch of a new school program in line.

We also spent time planning for the future, guided by our new strategic plan and our vision that all students are “well known, safe and destined to reach their full potential”. As part of this planning, we are preparing two levy measures – to support educational programs and operations, as well as technology needs – for the ballot on February 8, 2022.

Our school district has over 3,000 staff and 18,600 students, and we look forward to a strong 2022 that builds on all we have accomplished in previous years and sets the stage for improvement and a continued success.

Growth and expansion

We kicked off the 2021-22 school year by opening the new Kennewick High School, ending years of dreaming, planning, preparation and building.

Kennewick High is now completely transformed, with a new two-story, 292,000 square foot facility replacing the 1950s buildings that made up the former Lions Home.

The new building links all of the school’s programs into a single space that can accommodate 2,000 students, leaving room for future enrollment growth.

Two buildings of the old Kennewick High remain and are integrated into the new design of the school: the Lion’s Den Gym and the renovated auditorium. New sports facilities include a track, field, tennis courts and baseball diamonds.

We celebrated the new Kennewick High with a ribbon cutting and public tours that drew current staff and students, community members and many former Lions proud of the school’s long history.

This year, we also celebrated the completion of two other major capital projects: adding classrooms and improving athletic facilities at Kamiakin and Southridge High Schools.

In Kamiakin, we added 12 new classrooms, bringing the school’s capacity to 2,000 students. We also added parking and made several improvements to the sports facilities, including replacing the school’s turf field with artificial turf, replacing the track, adding toilets, concessions, a grandstand and a warehouse. sports facilities, and reconstruction of tennis courts.

In Southridge, we added 12 new classrooms, which, like in Kamiakin, brings the school’s capacity to 2,000 students. We also added a 3,200 square foot weight facility, resurfaced the track, added track storage, added a bus loop, replaced the existing turf field with artificial turf, and made improvements to the HVAC system. .

The Kennewick, Kamiakin and Southridge construction projects were all part of a bond package approved by school district voters in 2019. The bond also included Phase II of the replacement and expansion of Amistad Elementary School, which ended in 2020, as well as two future elementary school projects.

These future elementary projects are: the replacement of the existing Ridge View Elementary School and the construction of the 18th District Elementary School in a high growth area. The new Ridge View is slated to open in winter 2024.

We invite you to follow the progress of all our investment projects at ksd.org/District/Departments/Capital-Projects.

Kennewick High School has been transformed into a modern school, replacing buildings from the 1950s. (File photo)

New school program

This year also marked the start of a new KSD school that does not have a physical home: Endeavor High School, our online program for students in grades 9-12.

Endeavor uses accredited Apex Learning and Apex Literacy Advantage courses that meet district and state learning standards, under the supervision of highly qualified KSD teachers.

The new school is part of our strong online learning program, which also includes online classes for K-8 students through the Mid-Columbia Partnership.

To learn more about e-learning, please visit: ksd.org/programs/online-learning

Planning for the future

While we celebrated innovations and accomplishments this year, we also planned for the future.

Our district is preparing to organize an Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) tax and a tax on educational technology improvements in the February 2022 ballot. These measures will fund districts for the next four years.

The measures are replacement levies, not new initiatives, which means they will replace existing EP&O and technology levies that district voters approved in 2018.

Levies fund health and safety, student learning and staffing, instructional support, operations and maintenance, sports and activities and technology, and they cover costs that are not funded by state or federal governments.

Thanks to our community

We would like to thank our Kennewick School District community for their support, this year and always. The community is coming together to help our district in many ways, from donating school supplies to students in need to volunteering on committees.

We look forward to continuing our partnership as we continue to grow, develop and innovate, and as we work to ensure that all of our students are able to reach their highest potential.

Traci Pierce is Superintendent of the Kennewick School District.


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