Southridge DECA Class Shares Ideas for Vista Field Redevelopment

Southridge DECA Class Shares Ideas for Vista Field Redevelopment

Students write essays titled, “My Town, Its Future”

Kennewick, Wash. – Southridge High School instructor, Kristin Beatte challenged her DECA students to think about their town and community—what is like now, and what it could be like if they dreamed big and provided input to redeveloping Vista Field. Her students did just that—they thoughtfully crafted written essays which outline their dreams, visions, and wishes for a vibrant future town. Those essays were shared with Port of Kennewick as part of the public input process for Vista Field planning. The public input is being gathered by the citizen committee-selected consultant team, Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ).

Students wrote of a desire for courtyards inspired by European cities; central parks and ponds; Ferris wheels, and aquatic centers; public markets and gathering places; flowers and architecture; fancy streetlights and much more. These essays were been shared with the consultant team as they worked with the public to prepare a Vista Field redevelopment plan; and they are posted online at:

The community at large was invited to participate in the series of meetings, with the goal of transforming the former airport site into a regional town center and vibrant community asset. Vista Field is strategically located in the heart of the Tri-Cities commercial and residential center. “A diversity of input makes for a stronger economic development plan,” stated Tana Bader Inglima, Port director of governmental relations & marketing. “And we are so pleased that students and young people stepped up to voice their opinions.”

According to Port officials, Vista Field will take many years until full build-out, which means kids and students will be the users of that space in years to come. Bader Inglima added, “Today’s children will be the ones opening businesses there, and bringing their own families to enjoy public spaces, walking or riding their bikes to work, and gathering to meet and enjoy the facilities, shops, restaurants, and amenities that will transform that former airfield into a regional town center. That’s why it’s exciting to have these thoughtful young people engage with the Vista Field planning process.”

Public input meetings were held at a variety of times between November 10 and 13, 2014. The closing presentation—where the Vista Field Transformational Master Plan, including maps and specific design elements will be unveiled—will take place:
Saturday, November 15, 2014
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
6600 West Deschutes, Building B, Kennewick, WA
The public and media are encouraged to attend.

The earlier meetings helped bring focus to specific elements and designs for Vista Field, and helped foster community ownership that will help guide and steward development longterm. The sessions were open to everyone—not just Kennewick residents. Those attending the sessions were encouraged to think about examples of architecture, or art, or public spaces, or amenities, or facilities, and living/working/playing/gathering places that can positively influence our collective future.

Added Bader Inglima, “We asked citizens to bring photos. Share ideas. Dream big. And we asked them to share that information with the consultant team to help craft a locally-driven plan.” Those unable to attend the meetings can still provide input by sending an email.

Contact the Kennewick School District to arrange an interview with the DECA instructor or students: Robyn Chastain, Director of Communications & Public Relations, Kennewick School District, telephone: (509) 222-7424