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Monday, March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024

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Ridgefield School District buys property for future development

15-acre plot on 29th Ave. expected to be home of campus for grades 5-8

By , Columbian staff writer

The Ridgefield School District announced Tuesday it has purchased a 15-acre plot of land at 18216 N.E. 29th Ave. in Ridgefield for future district development.

The property — located just north of Washington State University Vancouver and east of the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds — is expected to be the site of a yet-to-be-built intermediate and middle school campus serving grades five through eight, comparable to the Sunset Ridge Intermediate and View Ridge Middle School campus that exists today.

No such plans or designs for any buildings are in the works as of yet; rather, the move comes as part of the district’s long-term growth plan, a district spokesperson said.

District officials said the property was purchased for $6 million with funds collected from developer impact fees.

“We approved the acquisition of this land to meet the needs of our growing community,” Joe Vance, president of Ridgefield Schools’ board of directors, said in a press release. “With our schools already over capacity, we will need to construct additional school campuses to accommodate the increasing number of Ridgefield students. This land is ideally situated in an area of the district where there is a great deal of housing development planned.”

Future growth

The district already owns a 27-acre property at 7025 10th St. in Ridgefield and hopes to add another, each of which would someday be home to new K-4 schools.

Each of the three properties, however, won’t feature any construction until the district can successfully pass a general obligation bond — a measure that’s failed five straight times since 2019.

In the year since the district’s most recent bond failure, Ridgefield has adjusted spaces inside existing buildings to squeeze new classrooms into gyms, redrawn district boundaries and more to keep its buildings from bursting at the seams. District leaders said the bond measure, which was projected to cost $62.5 million last year, both aims to address massive growth in recent years, as well as accommodate for anticipated future growth.

As of Tuesday, Ridgefield had no plans for when it might run the bond again.

The newly acquired property on Northeast 29th Avenue is yet another piece of a slew of projected construction projects in the area around the 179th Street interchange aimed at accommodating growth.