Future Location Of Jefferson Elementary Decided
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Public Schools Board has voted to move Jefferson Elementary to the west side of Hart Field, near Manito Boulevard. The decision comes after months of debate, public forum and several impact studies. After considering every detail the board decided the west option would cost four million dollars less.
The design process begins right away and construction on the new school will start in the summer of 2012.
OFFICIAL RELEASE FROM SPOKANE PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
The Spokane Public Schools Board of Directors decided Wednesday that the west option is the best site for replacing Jefferson Elementary and making improvements to Hart Field, both projects that were funded by the March 2009 bond.
Among the considerations were:
Cost: Building a new school at the west end of the district's property off 37th costs nearly $4 million less. The east option, which would have renovated and replaced large portions of the existing school, would require the purchase or condemnation of additional land in order to adequately separate parent pick-up and drop-off of students from arterial traffic and to provide a service entrance and bus area. The east option would also result in increased costs related to temporarily housing Jefferson students at several different schools and bussing them there during construction.
Safety: The west option is safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, including parents who drop off and pick up their children, since it is not in a growing commercial zone, as is the east option.
Public support: Even though the east option was preferred by many neighbors, the west option was the preferred site by the majority of participants in the district's online survey.
President Sue Chapin thanked the crowd for sharing their concerns over the past several months and for "taking the time to listen to us" tonight while the board deliberated.
Next steps in the process are completion of educational specifications for Jefferson early this winter; additional public meetings seeking input on the design and preparation of design documents over the next year; bidding of the project in spring of 2012; and construction from June 2012 to August 2013.
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