With classes 26 days away and CenterPlace construction all but complete, the Spokane Valley City Council approved a lease Tuesday granting the Community Colleges of Spokane classrooms in the new community center for the next five years.
“I’m sure the professors and the teachers want to get in there,” Mayor Diana Wilhite said.
The city wants the lease signed before allowing the colleges to move in. Spokane Valley had planned to rent the space to the colleges since it took over the CenterPlace project. Reaching an agreement on the lease, though, turned out to be a lengthy process because of approval needed by state agencies, city and college officials said.
“It’s great for our budget, great for our community,” said Councilman Steve Taylor after the council gave the final version of the lease its unanimous approval at its regular meeting.
The colleges will pay $16 per square foot per year for 6,116 square feet on the second floor of the building. That brings rent to $8,154.66 per month and just under $98,000 yearly.
“I think it’s a fair amount,” Wilhite said. The council is wary of competing with private rental space, but Wilhite said the city gave the colleges a good rate for their service to the community.
“We’re really looking forward to getting a significant presence in the Valley,” said Scott Morgan, chief operations officer for Community Colleges of Spokane.
He said he doesn’t expect the classes at CenterPlace to draw students away from other community college campuses. Many of the courses will offer specialized job training and other educational opportunities that will attract Spokane Valley residents, he said.
A preliminary schedule for this fall includes courses in law enforcement, math, English, and other subjects, as well as adult basic education. There are also noncredit business seminars, computer classes and courses specifically for seniors.
“We’ll look forward to them moving into our facility,” Wilhite said at the meeting.