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S'side directors look at infrastructure options for new school

The Sunnyside School Board got its first look at the price tag for infrastructure improvements associated with the construction of a new school on Washout Road.

Board members at last night's regular monthly meeting each received a copy of a letter addressed to Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole from City Engineer Jim Bridges, which outlined infrastructure requests from the city regarding the construction project. According to the letter, the city is requesting that the school district install a 12-inch water main north along Washout Road to Hill Avenue, and both an 8-inch water main and an 8-inch sanitary sewer pipe from the intersection of McClain Drive, north to Hill Avenue then west across Washout to the district's property. The city is also requesting the district install both water and sewer services to the adjoining properties along both routes, though the city would pay for the cost to "install and stub out" those side services.

Thursday night, school board members reviewed options for the installation of water and sewer pipes to the new school that Cole said meet the requests made by the city. The first option will cost the district an estimated $462,795 and includes the installation of a 10-inch water main along Washout Road with a sanitary sewer pipe running down Beckner, where it will meet up with McClain. That same sewer pipe would also run along the east side of the ditch on Washout Road to the school district's property line.

The second option school board members looked at includes the installation of a 12-inch water main along Washout Road, with both the 8-inch water main and sanitary sewer pipe running west along Hill and then south along McClain. This option could end up costing the district as much as $734,450. One reason this option is more expensive is because a lift station would be necessary. According to the district's Executive Director of Business, Dave Plesha, the construction of a lift station could cost $80,000.

This morning (Friday) Cole explained that the first option isn't going to work because it would mean digging along Washout Road, which could lead to the collapse of the road. However, he said the second option would mean developing infrastructure for the side of the road opposite to the school district's property.

School Board member Bill Smith said he wanted to know if the requests the city made in regards to the infrastructure are simply requests or legal requirements.

"There is a difference," Smith said.

He said it might even be as simple as asking the city to show the school district the Washington Administrative Code that says the district has to make the infrastructure improvements following the requests made by the city.

"It is something we need to clear up," Cole said.

Cole said the topic of infrastructure improvements is one he hopes to bring up during the joint city council, school board meeting set to take place Thursday, Nov. 4, in the board room at the Denny Blaine building.

"Let's see if we can figure this out," Cole said.

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