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2B or not 2B? That’s just one of the questions

Thu., Oct. 13, 2005

You have questions.

We have answers.

What’s going on with Albi?

As you recall, the Spokane City Council told the mayor last month to shelf the idea of selling the old place. But if it is not going to be sold (and don’t think for a minute that’s still not a possibility), something has to be done with it.

So the City Council has put together a committee (now who would have predicted that?) headed by councilman Joe Shogan. The committee is charged with determining Albi’s future.

Of course, in the grand tradition of committees, a subcommittee on the turf was formed. That subcommittee, made up of representatives of organizations which have a stake in replacing the worn-out surface, has asked Shogan and the Council for money.

How much? The committee wants $20,000 to study the facility’s structural integrity and the soundness of its mechanical and electrical systems. Even in these tough economic times, the request has merit.

If the Spokane and Mead school districts are going to invest a million dollars or so in a new playing surface, they want some sort of assurance the stadium is worth the investment. They don’t want to find out in three years the new surface is fine, but the concrete stands need to be replaced, or the lights are shot.

It only makes sense to find out if the fixer-upper you are thinking of investing in needs a new roof or has termites before you put in new carpet.

One other thing before we move on. The school districts are also taking the wise precaution of asking the city for assurances the stadium won’t be sold out from under them. They want a 10- to 15-year guarantee that, if they pay to replace the surface, they’ll still have a stadium to play in.

Better get that in writing.

What state basketball tournament will be in Spokane in 2007?

Don’t you mean what state basketball tournaments?

The Spokane Regional Sports Commission has told the WIAA in a letter that Spokane is interested in hosting two state tournaments, if the WIAA is so inclined.

How? By using Gonzaga University.

Members of the WIAA Executive Board and staff have told me in the past they wouldn’t mind having two tournaments in Spokane, but because of the Arena’s relationship with the Chiefs, only one weekend was available. That hasn’t changed.

But the SRSC got around that by partnering with GU for the second week, which usually falls between the end of the WCC Tournament and the beginning of the NCAA Tournament.

With the addition of a sixth classification and the WIAA moving the 3A tournament from Tacoma to Seattle that year, SRSC Executive Director Eric Sawyer is cautiously optimistic of getting a second tournament – if the WIAA decides to put all the tournaments in play.

One tournament is still in Spokane’s pocket, but will it be the B category (the state’s smallest schools) or the 2B category (the next smallest 18 percent)? If Sawyer had a guess, he figures it will be the 2B group or, as he calls it, “the schools that have traditionally come to Spokane.”

We should find out for sure sometime in the next couple of months.

When will the WIAA tell us where schools are going to fall in the new classifications?

The answer should be sometime in early December.

By then each school’s enrollment average for students in 10th through 12th grade will have been determined, the schools will be divided by percentage (the smallest 18 percent for B, the next 18 percent for 2B, then 16 percent each in 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A) and the divvying up will be done. Of course, then schools will have to decide whether they will opt up to a higher classification (as Gonzaga Prep is sure to do).


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