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City gives thumbs up to Sunnyside School District annexation request

The first step was taken last night to extend the city limits further out along Washout Road.

The Sunnyside School District formally sought, and received, permission to begin annexation proceedings for 62 acres of land it owns along Washout Road. The Sunnyside City Council voted unanimously to allow the annexation proceedings. The next step is for the Sunnyside Planning Commission to review the annexation request.

The school district plans on building at least two schools, possibly three, at its Washout Road site. The first building to be erected will be a middle school. The targeted completion date for the first school is the fall of 2006.

Funding for the new school construction has been made possible by an $11 million bond issue overwhelming approved by local voters in February of last year. State matching monies, coupled with a four-year $1.4 million levy that Sunnyside voters approved along with the bond issue last year, will add close to $45 million to school district coffers.

The school district added to its real estate holdings recently with the purchase of more Washout Road property. That land, located in the 1000 block of Washout Road and owned by Corey and Ann Berg, borders the initial piece of property secured by the school district. The Berg property, which is part of the 62 acres the school district is asking to be annexed into the city limits, sits just outside the city limits.

Not all of the property owned by the school district along Washout Road is being included in the annexation request. Some of the school district property is located outside of Sunnyside's urban growth boundary. It is possible at a later date the school district may seek to annex its remaining property into the city limits, but the proceedings would be more complicated because the county would have to be involved with changing the urban growth lines.

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