Delay of Capital Budget has pushed back school projects across the Yakima Valley

Delay of Capital Budget has pushed back school projects across the Yakima Valley.

YAKIMA, Wash.- With the passing of the capital budget, schools all across the state can get the funding they need to start their projects.

However, the budget passed nine months later than expected. That's bad news for school districts like East Valley here in Yakima.

“The delay of the budget and approval has put us in a position where we're approximately a year behind now,” Superintendent John Schieche said. “It puts us in a difficult position."

He said East Valley wants to add more space to the high school and bring the outdated building into the 21st century.

He said they wanted to start getting bids for the project in July of last year with the hope to start construction during the current school year.

“We couldn't open bids or start the project until we had authorization of the release for the state matching funds,” Schieche said.

The project is estimated to cost $57 million with $17.5 million coming from the state.

Delaying the project has not only pushed back the completion date of school building projects across the valley, but it's increased the price of how much they're going to cost as well.

“We're optimistic that we can build what we have designed, but at this point we're concentered about how the cost of materials have escalated,” Schieche said.

Gary Wetch, of Loofburrow Wetch Architects, is the designer of the project and said there are many reasons for the price to go up over the last nine months.

“Nine months is significant. It's basically three quarters of a year,” he said. “We're probably three quarters of a year higher in escalation than we anticipated.”

They plan on starting construction later this year and have the high school be completed by 2020.

Schieche said the delay of the construction won't impact the day to day operations of the high school.

He said they plan to build a new space for students to attend class before they start to remodel the current high school building.

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