Walla Walla High School cannot provide appropriate learning environments for Wa-Hi students without additional square feet of construction.
Every College Place student could leave today and Wa-Hi would still not have enough classroom space to retire all 16 of the “temporary” portable classrooms.
The permanent classrooms are also too small. Come to Wa-Hi and you’ll see desks shoved next to each other to fit all the students and hear science teachers who came from other districts lamenting the materials and exhibits they had to leave behind because they just don’t fit in our old-school rooms.
Last February, the community considered a bond that would have added needed space by moving out the walls of the existing buildings and eliminating breezeways. One of the things we’ve heard since then was that many voters had concerns about moving the walls and suggested adding the needed space by building new.
Some of the significant advantages to building new instead:
• Complex science lab new construction is significantly more efficient than remodeling and allows better design options.
• Taxpayers will save hundreds of thousands by avoiding more temporary housing.
• Allows the district to be ready to implement the legislation that increases the lab science graduation requirements for this year’s seventh-graders from two to three years.
• Minimizes impact on student learning during this project, as well as any future renovations because we will have space to move students as needed.
Building the needed additional new square feet first does not change anything about state matching money for future projects, and does not forfeit any state dollars. When the community is ready to address Wa-Hi’s many other issues, state matching funds will be there for those renovations.
This project developed because the district listened to the community. It addresses the area of greatest need first, reduces the cost and fixes Wa-Hi in phases.
More information can be found at the WWPS District website: wwps.org.
Walla Walla School Board member