Walla Walla High School one step closer to new science facility

Walla Walla High School one step closer to new science facility
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- MJ Eichinger is retired and has lived in Walla Walla for seven years. She doesn't support raising her property taxes to pay for a new science lab.

"I am not, and the reason for that is because our property taxes are always going up and our income is not," said Eichinger.

The bond will cost homeowners about $30 for every $100,000 your home is worth. The bond is nearly $60 million less than what the school district asked for last year. That would have included a total rebuild of Walla Walla High. The need is still there, even though the money is not.

This microscope was built in the 70s. The students today at Walla Walla High are using the same technology that their parents used. If you look at the natural gas system, it hasn't been updated. Nor has the water system. And the ventilation is the most important.

"Our environment, we need to be able to minimize student exposure to that, so if ventilation is not adequate, then our students are being exposed to toxins and things like that," said science department chair Terry Carlsen.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reports a task force did not recommend putting this bond on the ballot. It wanted to look at floating it to voters next year, with the possibility of a remodel to the high school, along with the science classrooms.

"All the input said focus on science at Walla Walla High School, because those facilities are completely inadequate and in the greatest need of improvement," said Mark Higgins of Walla Walla High.

Even though the district scaled back, MJ would prefer schools to find other ways to pay for these projects.

"From some other place other than our pockets, when we don't have the money to give," said Eichinger.

If this bond passes, it would be the first major construction at Walla Walla High School since the 80s.

The school board voted 4-1 to put the bond on the ballot for a April 22nd special election.