Business

Cheney Public Schools begins construction of two new middle schools

Matt Kapelke, left, of A-J’s Concrete Pumping, controls the flow and the pumper arm while John Anders, right, of Lydig Construction, fills footing forms for a new elementary school in Cheney on Wednesday. (Jesse Tinsley)
Matt Kapelke, left, of A-J’s Concrete Pumping, controls the flow and the pumper arm while John Anders, right, of Lydig Construction, fills footing forms for a new elementary school in Cheney on Wednesday. (Jesse Tinsley)

Here’s the Dirt

One will be red, one blue.

Little else will differentiate the two new middle schools being built for Cheney Public Schools.

Separate contractors have begun work on the identical buildings in Cheney and on the east side of the school district, southeast of Spokane International Airport.

Each will open in September 2012 with about 450 students in grades 6 though 8.

The projects are funded by a $79 million bond measure approved by voters in February 2010.

Crews are now doing site, footing and foundation work on the 110,000-square-foot schools.

Lydig Construction of Spokane is building one behind the district’s existing middle school at 2716 N. Sixth St. in Cheney. The cost is $24 million, and the exterior color will be blue. The old middle school, built in 1976, will be torn down the summer before the new school opens.

Garco Construction of Spokane is building the other one – the red school – at South Abbott and West Hallett roads, behind Windsor Elementary School. It will cost $26 million – more because additional site work is necessary.

Other costs include site preparation, extension of utilities and architectural fees. NAC|Architecture of Spokane is the architect, and OAC Spokane is the project management company.

Remodeling and expanding the district’s 35-year-old middle school, with its thin concrete walls and outdated technology, would have cost nearly as much as the new schools, said Jeff McClure, director of maintenance, operations and safety for Cheney Public Schools.

Plus, adding a middle school on the other end of the 375-square-mile district better serves families in the growing West Plains, McClure said.

And studies have shown medium-size schools are better learning environments, he said. Both schools will have room for up to 750 students.

This fall, the district will pick names, mascots and school colors for the new schools in a process involving the public.

The district also is in the design phase for a new elementary school at South Holly and West Hallett roads, near Fairways Golf Course. To be funded with $18 million matching funds from the state, the school is expected to open in 2013.

JP Morgan Chase to open new branch

JP Morgan Chase will open a new branch this fall at 9191 N. Indian Trail Rd., spokeswoman Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot said this week.

The 4,200-square-foot building will include four drive-through lanes and ATM, she said. The branch will employ eight to 10.

CLC Associates is the architect, she said. A contractor has not been selected.

None of the 12 existing branches in Spokane will be closed when the new office opens, Donahoe-Wilmot said.

The Indian Trail branch will be one of 12 Chase announced it will add in Washington this year, bringing the total to more than 250.

Mattress store opens third outlet

Sunrise Mattress, a Spokane company, opened its third retail outlet at 12519 N. Division, taking a three-year lease.

The company, operated by Dan Tabish and Dan Ederer, sells mattresses made at the company’s production site on Fancher Road.

Tabish said the store will soon be open seven days a week. It’s in 2,500 square feet in a space last used by Tile Outlet.

Sunrise is also a wholesale mattress manufacturer selling to dealers throughout Eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

Wine bar plans summer opening

Spokane residents Nita and Ron Martinez are opening Mezzo Pazzo Wine Bar in a retail space at 2718 E. 57th, Suite 105. The name means “half crazy” in Italian.

The couple is leasing 1,280 square feet at the Regal-57th strip due west of Albertson’s. They’re taking over an office last used by a veterinary clinic. That clinic has relocated to 2915 E. Palouse Hwy.

The Martinezes say they plan to open this summer. It will operate Tuesday through Saturday. Nita Martinez said the menu will feature wines from around the world. Food options will include salads and small plate offerings.

Jeff Ottmar of Cornerstone Property Advisers represented the tenants; Colin Conway represented the owner, Frank DeLis.

Napa Auto Parts store moves

The Napa Auto Parts store on North Monroe Street in Spokane is moving six blocks north to a larger space, a former furniture store.

Napa will complete the move to 2510 N. Monroe this Sunday, from 1702 N. Monroe.

The store is leasing the space that had been Upscale Home Furnishings, a consignment furniture store that closed suddenly at the end of 2010. Joel Ferris III, Upscale’s owner, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Reporters Bert Caldwell and Tom Sowa contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on development and business changes in the Inland Northwest. E-mail business@spokesman.com or call (509) 459-5528.


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