Richland School District

District's fourth middle school to open in five weeks (construction photo gallery)

Installation of flooring in the commons
Installation of flooring in the commons

Construction of Leona Libby Middle School is moving along on schedule. The doors will open to students on August 29.

The school is being built on a 30-acre site in West Richland near the intersection of Keene Road and Belmont Boulevard. The general contractor is Fowler General Construction, Richland. Leona Libby will be 108,000 square feet in size and house 800 students. The total project cost is $35 million.

While construction of the Richland School District's fourth middle school has been proceeding, a group of dedicated teachers, parents, students, industry professionals, and community members have come together to plan the startup of this authentic STEAM school. STEAM stands for science, technology engineering, arts, and mathematics.


State recognizes RSD for designing high performance sustainable schools


The Richland School District is pleased to announce that two recently built elementary schools are High Performance Sustainable Schools. Both Lewis & Clark Elementary and Sacajawea Elementary have met the state of Washington’s high performance design requirements.

“The Richland School District has met the challenge of designing schools that support environmental leadership,” states Randy Newman of the State Superintendent’s Office in Olympia. “Lewis & Clark and Sacajawea are delivering superior energy performance, reducing water use, and providing excellent indoor learning environments.”


The new Jefferson Elementary School will open in 13 months


Construction of the new Jefferson Elementary School is underway. Above is the architect drawing of what the school will look like when it opens in August 2018.

The general contractor is Fowler General Construction, Richland. Fowler was also the general contractor for four recent elementary school projects – Lewis & Clark, Marcus Whitman, Orchard, and Sacajawea.

“Fowler has an excellent track record with the Richland School District,” says Superintendent Rick Schulte. “Our staff, students, and taxpayers have been impressed with the company’s work over the past four years.”


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Community members wishing to stay current with Richland School District happenings can do so via email. These news summaries include recaps of Richland School Board meetings along with up-to-date information on instruction, curriculum and facilities. To subscribe to Key Communicators, contact Steve Aagaard, RSD Communications Director, at


District expresses concern about possible pot shop location (Letter to the Editor...Tri-City Herald)


In this Letter to the Editor published by the Tri-City Herald on July 2, Richland School District Superintendent Rick Schulte expresses the District's concern over the possible siting of a marijuana retail store near school bus stops.....

I would like to express the concern of the Richland School District about the proposed location of a marijuana retail shop at Arena and Kennedy roads in Benton County.

This location is within a short distance of three school bus stops that pick up high school students daily. This is a cause of great concern due to the expected increase in traffic, noise and congestion. Likewise, we are aware other retail marijuana shops have attracted some customers who engage in vandalism and intimidation.

We vigorously oppose locating marijuana shops where students will see drug use as normal and where they will be exposed to encouragement or enticement to become drug users. This is fundamentally contrary to the school district’s health teaching about avoiding drug use.


Richland School District helps out crew fighting Silver Dollar Fire


The Richland School District was able to help out the hard working firefighters who were battling the Silver Dollar Fire earlier this week just west of the Tri-Cities.

RSD hosted the firefighters in the Hanford High School gym so they could have a dark, cool place to sleep with showers and restrooms. 

“It was an emergency situation as they were coming off an all night shift and needed a place to rest before the next shift,” explains Jeffrey Lettau, RSD Director of Facilities & Operations.


Legislative inaction causing major concerns for District budget planning - Superintendent Rick Schulte


In this memo dated June 27, Richland School District Superintendent Rick Schulte explains to the Richland School Board that unresolved issues in the state budget are having serious and significant implications for RSD budget planning.

“As you know, the legislature is still in special session, without having adopted a biennial budget. The Richland School District cannot proceed further with 2017-18 budget development, or complete a budget, until the legislature acts. The unresolved issues impact all elements of district operations. Fundamental issues of staff compensation, collective bargaining, apportionment formulas, staffing models, and levy authority remain to be decided.

This presents us with a severe time crunch. If the legislature completes its budget the first week of July, it will take OSPI two to three weeks to prepare the necessary budget worksheets for each school district. It will then take each school district three to four weeks to complete these worksheets and prepare a draft budget. This could take us into the third or fourth week of August, with a requirement to adopt a budget no later than August 31. This timeline will make it impractical to prepare a fully considered school district budget with adequate input (see link below for entire memo).


Scholar Scramble a success; thanks to sponsors and golfers for helping RSD students (photo gallery)


The Richland Education Foundation’s 2017 Scholar Scramble Golf Tourney was a success last Friday at Horn Rapids Golf Course. Led by title sponsor Pacific Mobile Structures, over $11,000 was raised to enhance Richland School District instructional programs.

“We appreciate each and every sponsor and the 63 golfers who participated in the Scholar Scramble,” said Foundation president Jennifer Lopez. “The bottom line is that Richland students benefit from all the fun we had golfing today.”

Since 1994, the Richland Education Foundation has awarded over $247,000 in grants to support RSD educational programs.