Panel: Demolish Lincoln High and build new school on site

A Lincoln High School graduate proudly notes his “i made it!!!” accomplishment on his mortarboard during  commencement Thursday evening at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds. Forty-two students graduated in Lincoln’s Class of 2013 and received about $30,000 in scholarships. The smaller of two high schools in Walla Walla,  Lincoln  is geared as an alternative to Walla Walla High School, whose graduates receive diplomas tonight in ceremonies starting at 7 p.m.

A Lincoln High School graduate proudly notes his “i made it!!!” accomplishment on his mortarboard during commencement Thursday evening at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds. Forty-two students graduated in Lincoln’s Class of 2013 and received about $30,000 in scholarships. The smaller of two high schools in Walla Walla, Lincoln is geared as an alternative to Walla Walla High School, whose graduates receive diplomas tonight in ceremonies starting at 7 p.m. Photo by Joe Tierney.

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WALLA WALLA — A panel has recommended tearing down Lincoln High School and building a new facility at the current site.

The full recommendations of a committee studying facilities needs at Lincoln High School are now available for public viewing online. Click here to visit the School District's page on Lincoln. The final report can be downloaded here. The report is also posted with this story, at right.

The Walla Walla School Board approved accepting the recommendations as presented by the Lincoln High School Community Facilities Study Committee during one of the school board’s monthly meetings, held Tuesday.

The recommendations focus on keeping Lincoln at its current location between Third and Fourth avenues north of Chestnut Street, but taking down the 1927 structure and building a new facility.

The committee met over five months to get caught up on facility needs at Lincoln, and to answer two core questions: should Lincoln remain at its current site, 421 S. Fourth Ave., or relocate? And if it should remain at the site, should the old building be restored or built new?

The School Board has made it a priority to address facility needs at Lincoln, which has a student population ranging from 150 to 200. The Lincoln building, formerly Paine School, is an old Craftsman style building that served as an elementary school for years.

The School Board has only approved the report at this time, and will take up individual recommendations, such as figuring out funding options for Lincoln improvements and calling for an Alternative Education Advisory Committee, at a later time.

Comments

namvet60 10 months ago

It's rather humorous from the headline that sounds like it was a smash mouthed tear down and rebuild new. The way I read was that the vote was very close and theres a lot more work and thought to be put into this project. Did they even think of making it a historic building and get federal funding to remodel. It also sounds like they want to make more out of this school than whats already in place.

Trying not to be negative but to run a hodge podge affair I would think that clear thinking persons should be used rather than, "I want to work in a brand new building especially when we're using other peoples money". Here we go again for a horrendous bond issue to be coming up shortly.

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USCTrojan 10 months ago

The old school itself has asset value...land, structure, location. It could be office space for Police/Fire or any other facility that doesn't need fancy facilities (READ: School District Offices). The sale or repurposing of this land could help defray future costs. The New School should be on the Bus Route... Issacs? Myra? Pine Street?

My fear is another "committee" that comes up with a solution that allows for no-other-common-sense alternatives - like Athena sprung complete from Zeus's head - fully formed an mature. It may be that the rubish-and-rebuild is the best solution - but I've rarely found Walla Walla Schools or City Counsel open to such alternative ideas.

How about we convert Berney to the New Lincoln.. and build a new Berney?

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ImJustSayin 10 months ago

Where's "fatherof5" leading the rally cry to get this project moving forward? The building is old and out of date and surely these kids are just as deserving as those (his) that go to WA-HI.

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jkruchert 10 months ago

I do hate to see old buildings torn down, especially one that is so beautiful as it is. I am sure it will be cheaper to tear down the old building and build a new one with new "green" supplies that in my opinion don't hold up as well, but the kids and the staff deserve a new school. They are doing great things over there at Lincoln. Anything to support them is on my ballot. I do not think a change of location would do as there are many of the students that live in the area that cannot afford transportation.

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USCTrojan 10 months ago

The transportation needs of students at Lincoln would be the same as Wa-Hi (as they are drawn from the same pool of students). Alternative locations (such as the field on Tietan across from the Fairground) would be just as reasonable as the current location. A new school would cost at least $16M, possibly as much as $75M - depending upon needs - and there is almost no parking available at Lincoln. If some other location were chosen - pick one - then the land acquisition/prep should be less than $3M... and you'd still have Lincoln as an asset.

The rationale of destroying the property to save it... sounds a lot like the Blue Mountain Mall. And where do the kids go to school during the time of the new construction? Certainly not at the demolished Lincoln.

These kids need our support. We shouldn't let the efforts to 'do good' cloud our financial judgement.

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barracuda 10 months ago

We need to see if we can afford it first...... If this goes through, Wa-Hi is not going to go through....

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