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Boundary changes proposed for new schools

On the heels of a decision to ask voters to approve a construction bond to build two new schools, the Central Valley School District Tuesday revealed proposed boundary changes to reflect who will attend those schools.

On Monday the school board approved a $55.2 million bond proposal to build a new elementary school and a new middle school in the eastern half of the district by 2009. The district plans to take the bond before voters in November.

The proposed boundary changes are based on the recommendation of a boundary review committee charged by the board in January to establish what the boundaries would look like for those two proposed schools.

Under the proposed plan, the new elementary school would house about 409 students, pulled from the current boundaries of Liberty Lake, Greenacres and Progress elementary schools, said Carol Peterson, district official.

“That is based on current students; if we (opened the school) tomorrow,” Peterson said. “When the schools would open, in two to four years, there would likely be more students in them because of growth.”

Though the location of a new elementary school is still being debated, the proposed boundary change includes a new school located on a 17-acre site purchased by the district in February at Mission Avenue and Long Road, north of Interstate 90.

Another site – a 12-acre parcel about a mile east on Mission at Holl Road – has been offered to the district by Greenstone Homes of Liberty Lake. No formal agreement has been made between the developer and the district concerning that land.

If the district did choose to build a new school on the Greenstone site, it is still within the proposed boundary change, “so it wouldn’t make a difference,” said Superintendent Mike Pearson. “It would still fall within the area of change.”

The district already owns a 23-acre site next to Liberty Lake for a new middle school. The school would be considered a “flex” school, possibly used to house overflow from nearby Liberty Lake Elementary as needed, said board president Anne Long.

“But it would not be an elementary school,” Long said.

Currently all middle school students east of Barker Road to the Idaho state line attend Greenacres Middle School.

The proposed new boundary would stop at Harvard Road. Students from Harvard to Idaho, north to the Spokane River, would attend the new middle school in Liberty Lake.

It is unclear how many students would occupy that building at first, Peterson said. It will be built for an optimum enrollment of 650 to 750.

“The middle school is so far out,” she said. “With the growth, it’s going to be different in four years.”

Both of the proposed schools are in an area where more than 1,000 homes have been built in the past decade, and an additional 2,000 homes are planned.

Before moving forward with the proposed boundary changes, the review committee will first hold a public hearing to gather input from the community, Peterson said.

That hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 17 at Greenacres Middle School, 17409 E. Sprague.

The committee will then make a recommendation based on the community’s input on what the boundaries should look like, Peterson said. That will likely occur at the June 13 board meeting.

This is the first time the district has proposed boundary changes for a school that hasn’t been built yet, Peterson said.

The last time Central Valley changed boundaries was in 2002, when the newly built high schools opened and the junior high schools were reconfigured as middle schools, moving ninth-grade students up to the high schools.