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Washington Voices

Jefferson Elementary project open for comments

Thu., Aug. 25, 2011

A notice of determination of nonsignificance, which has to be filed under the State Environmental Policy Act for new construction, was posted recently on the site where a new Jefferson Elementary School will be constructed.

The deadline for comments or an appeal to be submitted to the school district is Wednesday.

As part of a modernization project, the Spokane Public Schools board decided in September to relocate Jefferson Elementary from Grand Boulevard and 37th Avenue to the west end of Hart Field, at 37th Avenue and Manito Boulevard.

Some neighbors are opposed to the relocation, but the school district maintains that the new location is safer for kids because it’s further from busy Grand Boulevard and because it’s cheaper to build a new school at the Manito Boulevard location than to renovate the current school.

Those opposed to the new location said it will increase traffic on streets that are too narrow to handle it.

The nonprofit group Hart Field Preservation Organization is fighting the relocation because it will change the use of parts of Hart Field, which is Lewis and Clark High School’s athletic field. Hart Field is being renovated using a separate $2.5 million budget.

Construction of the new Jefferson Elementary School could begin next June.

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