Central Valley School bond would renovate, expand - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Central Valley School bond would renovate, expand

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Central Valley School bond would rennovate, expand Central Valley School bond would rennovate, expand
Central Valley School bond would rennovate, expand Central Valley School bond would rennovate, expand
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Votes on school bonds and levies are due Tuesday, February 10.

Voters in the Central Valley School District will decide on two ballot measures: one levy and one bond.

In the last 10 years, the district grew by 1,700 students without adding any new schools.

Officials say the bond would help schools like Chester Elementary get the necessary expansions and upgrades they need, like adding walls.

Chester Elementary is one of four open concept schools in Central Valley. Back in the 1970's, that meant very few or no walls.

"It would be nice to have walls because it's kind of confusing when you can hear both classrooms," said fourth grader Ryan Cox.

Bookshelves and cubbies also don't provide the same safety features a walled classroom could.

On a lockdown, if somebody gets through the front door back there, they have access to pretty much all of the classrooms. And without some rooms without actual walls, then we're pretty much history," said Cox.

"In the event of a lockdown or intruder alert we have anywhere from two to three classes that go into a bathroom and lock the door. So it just makes it uncomfortable for about 75 kids that are in a boys bathroom and if you're a girl, no one likes that, or vice versa. It's just not conducive to the safety and security we hope our kids would be afforded," said Chester Elementary Principal Cindy Sothen.

If the bond passes Chester Elementary would also expand, making room for more students and easing the minds of parents wanting their kids to go to school under one roof.

"I showed up early in the morning and there was a line of people just waiting to get in and I was scared because this was the close proximity and I wanted him to go here," said Greg Neils, parent of a 2nd grader at Chester Elementary.

"This year had anywhere from like 17 to 20 kids we have to send to other schools," said Sothen.

If the bond passes, students at Chester may have to go to Keystone Elementary during construction.

Keystone is about two miles away.

School officials say they'd hope to reopen in the Fall of 2017.

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