June 28, 2011 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

By Correspondent

From our archives, 50 years ago

The Spokane School Board was in an angry standoff with the City Plan Commission over whether Ray Street, a busy arterial, would cut smack-dab through the campus of its new high school, Joel E. Ferris High School.

The board had been poised to award the contract for the $3.5 million school when city planners pointed out that Ray Street was scheduled to be extended all the way south to the Palouse Highway.

This would divide Ferris into two pieces, a 36-acre site west of Ray and 13 acres (most of the athletic fields) east of Ray.

Board members and planners confronted one another over whose fault this was. Board members charged that the city sprang this unpleasant surprise on them at the last minute. Planners maintained that the Ray Street extension had been public knowledge since 1959.

“Somebody pulled a ‘boo-boo,’ ” said one Plan Commission member, and he didn’t mean the city.

The city tried to float a compromise solution: a 100-foot-wide pedestrian tunnel under Ray Street. It was not received well.

As it turned out, the campus remained intact. Ray stops at the campus line.

Regal Street became the major arterial connecting to the Palouse Highway.

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