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Mead Wants To Enlarge Alternative-School Site

A Spokane County planning board will next week consider a proposal to nearly double the size of the facility that houses the Mead alternative high school program.

The nearly 150 students and nine teachers in the program currently occupy a 4,500-square-foot building at the Fairwood Shopping Center.

The alternative program is for students who have problems learning in the traditional school environment and need smaller class sizes and more intensive instruction.

The school district wants to remodel another building at the shopping center that’s roughly the same size as the existing building, and connect the two, according to plans filed with the county Planning Department.

To complete the project, the district will need a zone change from regional business to an urban residential category that allows schools.

The hearing examiner committee, which rules on land-use issues in the county’s unincorporated areas, will consider the plan at its meeting next Thursday.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the downstairs meeting room of the county Public Works Building, W1026 Broadway.

Alternative school staff member Barbara Peterson said the expansion is badly needed.

“We’re just jammed in here, and we need room to expand,” Peterson said. “The current building serves as an art room, a music room, a gym, classrooms - everything. There’s no room to do anything.”

The project is expected to cost about $200,000, which the school board has allocated in this year’s budget.

Other matters

The hearing examiner committee will consider two other North Side projects at its meeting next week:

Al and Joyce Keen, owners of Ed’s Premier Auto Body, E2707 Francis, have asked the committee to approve a plan to expand the business.

The Keens need a zone change to add a 4,500-square-foot addition to their current building, which covers 9,100-square feet.

The current zoning on the property is a mix of neighborhood and community business. A regional business zone is necessary for the project.

Carlene Murphey, who wants to divide 10 acres she owns on Woolard Road east of the Newport Highway will ask the hearing examiner to withdraw some conditions the Planning Department put on the project.

Those conditions include negotiating a voluntary impact fee agreement with the Mead School District and the county Parks Department.

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