Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 2:19 p.m.
The City of Spokane and Spokane Public Schools are discussing an innovative partnership to make a generational investment in learning and leisure.
The partnership would make significant investments in school, library, and recreational facilities improvements citywide. Three new and three remodeled middle schools, three new and four remodeled city libraries, investments in school safety, technology and targeted programs, new recreational fields, and a multi-use stadium are being considered.
Additional middle schools would accommodate the movement of sixth graders from the elementary schools and reduce class sizes in the elementary grades. Modernizing or replacing old schools would improve the learning environments and school safety, and create additional space for the district’s options programs.
Library investments would include expanding the Shadle Library to meet increasing demand and establishing space for Spokane Virtual Learning (SVL), building a new library on school district property adjacent to the Libby Center on Sprague with space for SVL and school district training, and constructing a new library in Hillyard in conjunction with Shaw Middle School.
Modernizing or replacing aging Joe Albi Stadium with a smaller, 5,000-seat stadium is also being considered either on site or at a more central location. Replacing the 30,000-seat stadium at a centralized location east of the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena would have the added benefit of freeing up space for additional multi-use fields at Dwight Merkel Complex to establish a large regional draw for soccer, lacrosse and other long-field competitions.
School levy rates in Spokane are dropping by $2.20 beginning in 2019 due to the state assuming more responsibility for basic education funding. The partnership proposal would be paid for by using $1.10 of that tax reduction and returning the other $1.10 to taxpayer.
The Spokane City Council and Spokane Public Schools board would have to vote to place the proposal on the ballot this fall. Those votes could happen in early August.