Pullman residents will vote on bond for aging high school

PULLMAN, WA - Pullman High School was built in the early 1970's and the building hasn't aged well.

Concerned parents and educators believe it can't keep up with the evolving needs of the students. It's an issue that was up for discussion Monday evening at a public forum focused on what can be done about the problem.

"The school just does not meet the instruction expectation of this community," said Pullman School District Superintendent Paul Strum.

The walls are made out of concrete, which makes the building far from energy efficient, and it's nearly impossible to install wireless internet. The layout needs work as well. There are so many exits in the building that it's difficult to keep track of who is coming and going.

"It's quite confusing and there's nothing intuitive about how you would get around the school," said ANC Architecture Principal Keith Comes.

The school district has been working with a team of architects to come up with a plan for renovation. Monday night, they presented that plan to parents in the community.

After considering a number of different options, it became clear that remodeling the current location is the best way to go. And parents of future Greyhounds are very excited about the upgrade.

"I like that it's all connected, said future PHS parent Danielle Kallaher. "You know, the high school as it currently lies you have to walk outside to different portions of the building, and so I'm really excited that it's all enclosed."

With that excitement comes a price tag. In February, residents will vote on an estimated $55 million bond that would fund the construction. That also means that property taxes would increase by $1.62 per thousand of assessed property value. If the bond passes, the school district will start hammering out the details and construction could start as early as summer of 2014.