After years of waiting, the first piles of dirt have been moved for the new Mead high school.
Lydig Construction started digging last week at the site, about a mile east of the Newport Highway on Mount Spokane Park Drive.
A groundbreaking ceremony takes place at 5:30 p.m. today at the site, near the intersection of Mount Spokane Park Drive and Bruce Road. School district representatives, the new high school staff and involved citizens will attend, said John Keith, who’s coordinating the event.
All interested people are invited. The shovel will be passed around.
The school district has also submitted all the paperwork to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to qualify for $9 million in matching funds.
The deadline for the paperwork was Friday. Now the state must rank the qualifying projects, and the Mead district should learn by mid-July whether it will receive the money.
“If we don’t, that won’t be a problem,” said John Dormaier, Mead construction coordinator. “We do have sufficient funds to fund the project. We’re still hopeful we’re going to receive those state funds.”
Dormaier said the district has a good shot because of the number of unhoused students.
The school has used about 24 portable classrooms to help house an overflow of students at the high school. About 1,100 high school students don’t have housing, including those in portable classrooms and those at the junior high schools.
The Mead School District is still days away from getting its full building permit - close enough that Lydig Construction could start removing topsoil.
“We have permission to do the site work,” Dormaier said. “There’s still a couple of t’s to cross and i’s to dot.”
The new high school is set to open in September 1997.