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City and developers celebrate new park

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate completion of a one-acre city park will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at 508 S. Lawson St. in Airway Heights.

City Parks and Recreation Department Director J.C. Kennedy said the park, which includes a large open area, walking paths and a playground, was constructed by Viking Construction under an agreement reached with the city last fall.

The company donated the land and built the park in part to reduce Viking’s impact fees to the city for its development of the park’s adjacent 199-home Traditions subdivision.

“You’re going to have to pay the fees anyway, so it just makes sense to put the money toward a park in your own neighborhood,” said Scott Krajack, land development director at Viking.

Krajack, whose company was the first to help build a park instead of paying the full impact fee amount, said he thinks more developers will follow his lead and create several neighborhood parks instead of giving fees to the city of Airway Heights to build big parks in central locations.

“It allows kids to stay in their own neighborhood, where parents can keep an eye on them, and it makes Airway Heights a better looking city,” he said.

Near the Traditions subdivision, a park associated with the Sunset Crossing subdivision is being built by Hayden Homes through a fee-mitigation agreement and should be open by the end of October, according to Kennedy.

Hargreaves Hall reopens

After a three-year construction effort, some students at Eastern Washington University will be attending class in a renovated Hargreaves Hall this fall quarter.

Hargreaves was first built in 1940, serving as the main campus library until the construction of the John F. Kennedy Library in 1968.

The building’s remodel was funded by a legislative appropriation of $13.1 million and included upgrades to the building’s infrastructure and newly created state-of-the-art instructional space. A revitalized 4,500-square-foot reading room on the second floor boasts large arching windows and is expected to be a campus events facility.

EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo will be joined by the university community for an open house celebration Sept. 10, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on the Cheney campus.

Wildlife walk at Turnbull

Take in some seasonal scenery with local naturalist Marian Frobe on a stroll through the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge on Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Learn about local birds and how they fare on their long fall journey. Identification, migration information, habitat description and natural history will be covered during a leisurely walk.

Cost is $18 for adults, $11 for children ages 16 and under. A limited number of spots are available; call (509) 625-6200 or visit to register.

Little League offers fall ball

Kids ages 9 to 12 looking to prepare for upcoming AAA and majors divisions or simply to maintain their skills this fall are invited to join West Plains Little League fall baseball. Practice and scrimmages will take place Sundays at 2 p.m. at Cheney’s Salnave Park from Sept. 13 through Oct. 11.

Players should bring their own mitts and cleats (cleats aren’t required).

Register before Wednesday by calling (509) 244-2782. Cost is $25 and includes a T-shirt.

EWU food drive a success

The second-annual Eastern Washington University food drive wrapped up last week, bringing in over $8,000 and seven tons of food for the Cheney Food Bank and Second Harvest. This is double the money and a ton more food than last year’s event, said organizer Kathleen Warren.

Over the past three weeks, 12 teams from various university departments competed to acquire the most food and cash donations.

Last Thursday the EWU football and soccer teams took a break from practice to help unload and deliver donations to the new Cheney Food Bank site. Nearly 50 backpacks and several boxes of school supplies were also collected for the Cheney Outreach Program.

Barn-saving grant available

As part of the state’s Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative, 19 historic Washington barns were brought back from a slow death in 2008 thanks to rehabilitation grants.

The yearly grants are awarded to buildings listed in the Heritage Barn Register, the Washington Heritage Register or the National Register of Historic Places through a competitive application process. Over 100 applications were received last year.

Criteria for funding include the barn’s historical significance, urgency of needed repairs and provision for long-term preservation. Priority is given to barns that remain in agricultural use.

Barn owners with questions about the program can call (206) 624-9449 or e-mail Grant applications are due Nov. 4.