Bright future ahead for Naches & Sunnyside School Districts

Bright future ahead for Naches & Sunnyside School Districts »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Naches, Sunnyside, and Highland School Districts each had special bonds on the ballot to pay for school improvements.

As of Tuesday night, voters in Naches and Sunnyside passed those bonds, but the news not as welcome in Highland, which fell short of the 60 percent needed.

It's a new and long-awaited fresh start for Naches, following years of disappointment from previous elections, passing the bond this year at 62 percent.

"Fantastic outcome for the students, for the teachers, for the entire community, it's just fantastic," said Duane Lyons, Naches Valley Superintendent.

With the more than $20 million bond, Naches will build a new elementary school and replace two existing schools. Both are more than 60 years old.

"I think the biggest thing is just a much better, more comfortable learning environment," said Lyons. "A way to come to school and be able to be inside and be warm, be inside and be cool, be inside and be safer."

The new school will be located on an 11-acre plot off U.S. 12 and Allen Road. Money will also help improve the middle and high schools.

The special levy for Naches Parks and Recreation also passed with 73 percent of the vote, which is good news for the Applewood Park.

"This matters because our park will be open in 2015 and 2016, without question, and I'm very happy," said Kit Hawver, Naches Park District Finance Officer.

Unfortunately, the parks district is still looking for donations to cover funding for the rest of this year, meaning it will be a struggle to keep up with maintenance and to keep the pool open all summer.

Results show the Sunnyside School District is also, at 62 percent, likely to pass a $10 million bond, which will primarily go towards renovations at Washington Middle School. It's in need of a better roof, ceiling, and windows.

"If it gets all the way being certified and passing, we'll be very excited for these kids and this building, they've been waiting for about five years to get this accomplished." said Dr. Richard Cole, Sunnyside School District Superintendent.

Finally, Highland was asking for an $8.5 million bond for improvements at several schools, which as of now does not have enough votes to pass.

Each of the school bonds required a supermajority to pass, meaning they needed at least 60 percent of the vote.