The Moses Lake School District released its plans for a new high school Thursday that will be built next to the current high school and Columbia Basin Tech. The District says it will accommodate between 700 and 900 students once it’s complete in 2022. The $75-million school will complement the current high school but offer new educational models and programs that meet future workforce needs and support different learning styles, focused on preparing students for a range of post-graduation goals, including entering the workforce, attending college or learning a trade. It also preserves the district’s ability to receive $34 million in construction matching funds from the state in 2028 to update Moses Lake High School.
Here’s the full press release:
Moses Lake, WA – Moses Lake School District staff unveiled its plans today for a second high school to fit the district’s facility capacity needs and provide students with the diverse educational opportunities they need to be prepared for a successful future.
In a presentation to the Moses Lake School Board of Directors, MLSD Superintendent Dr. Joshua Meek provided a detailed plan for the new high school, which is set to be built adjacent to Moses Lake High School and CBTech. This school will accommodate between 700 and 900 students upon its completion in 2022. The plan for the $75 million school — which was based on extensive research and data analysis conducted by educational experts, as well as insight from the High School of the Future community committee — preserves the district’s ability to receive an additional $34 million in construction match funds from the state in 2028 to update Moses Lake High School.
In August 2018, the Moses Lake Board of Directors approved a Bond Change Resolution that called for a more efficiently-sized high school and the construction of two elementary schools, versus the fullscale school originally envisioned for the construction bond that was approved by voters in 2017. That bond called for the construction of a $111.4 million high school at a separate location that would have replicated the current offerings at Moses Lake High School and be built at a size not aligned with actual capacity needs nor enrollment growth forecasts. This oversized school would have made the district ineligible for certain state matching funds — amounting to a loss of some $34 million in state construction funds slated to improve Moses Lake High School in 2028.
“Based on additional information and insights uncovered during our planning process, the Board of Directors voted to make updates to the bond implementation plan to safeguard the best use of public dollars,” said Dr. Joshua Meek, Superintendent, Moses Lake School District. “The decision was not made lightly, as we treasure the public’s trust and confidence in our district. At the same time, based on this new data, we would no longer be good stewards of taxpayer resources if we went forward with the scope and size of the second high school originally envisioned for the 2017 bond.”
The second high school will complement Moses Lake High School, offering new educational models and programs that meet future workforce needs and support different learning styles. It will be focused on preparing students for a range of post-graduation goals, including entering the workforce, attending college or learning a trade. Students who have interest in different programs or classes at the two schools will able to utilize both. While this educational model will be new to the Moses Lake School District, it is being used in districts across the country and here in Washington state.
“We all want our schools to amply prepare our students for their best future. This second high school will help us do that, and also provide millions of dollars in state funding to update Moses Lake High School in the near future. Our community is clearly passionate about education and we’re thankful to everyone who has provided feedback or volunteered their time during this process. We’re excited to move forward with the second high school, providing innovative learning opportunities and technologies that meet the changing needs of today’s students. These complementary high schools will prepare our students for a wider range of post-graduation opportunities while also supporting our local and global workforce needs and economy,” said Meek.