Over the summer, the East Valley School District administration moved to its new location at 3830 N. Sullivan Road.
“It was a hot Tuesday in July,” joked Interim Superintendent Tom Gresch about the move. The administration moved into the building July 15.
This move is one of many taking place this summer. Special services, professional development and the STAR program (Success Toward Adult Responsibility), have all moved into the portables near the football field at East Valley High School. The Parent Partner program of the Washington Academy of Arts and Technology will move into the old administration building soon. The online and tech center will now be located on Pines.
Thanks to the moves, the district is only using buildings it owns this year, Gresch said.
The new administration building, formerly the 1st Lt. Richard H. Walker U.S. Army Reserve Center, will also house InTec, the district’s new hands-on career and technical education program.
“My goal is to have the kids study the history of this building,” said Career and Technical Education Director John Savage. The building was named for a Spokane resident who died on Jan. 15, 1968, during search and destroy operations near the Cambodian border. The students will also learn about what reserve members would do at the center – there are still remnants of the military in the building the Department of Defense gave the district, including the pull-up bars they used during workouts.
Gresch said there are plans to place a historical plaque on the building.
So far, the district is only using the first floor of the two-story building. The second floor won’t be renovated until the district installs a new elevator to make the building compliant with the Americans with Disability Act.
There have been improvements to the building entrances. The sidewalks are now wheelchair accessible and the doors have electric openers. The parking lot has been repainted and includes a bus lane.
Inside, the halls have been cleaned, the floors polished and classroom and office spaces have been created.
Gresch said maintenance and operations and custodial crews have been doing most of the work, with the exception of installation of the fire suppression system, alarms and some of the remodeling.
Along with the administrative move, InTec teachers have been in the building all summer working on their curriculum. The building will provide the program with a large multi-purpose room, a kitchen that is expected to begin producing meals during the second semester this school year and one unexpected item.
“We’ve got a tank lift,” Gresch said. “It only has a 5-ton capacity.”
The lift is in the maintenance building on the campus. It will be two or three years time before students use it, however, Savage said. This first year of InTec is being offered only to freshmen. So far, 54 students have registered for classes.
Gresch said he is preparing the final numbers of the cost of the move and renovation to be presented to the school board at its next meeting, Aug. 26. The meeting will be held at the district’s old main office, 12325 E. Grace Ave. It will be the last school board meeting at that location. After school starts, board meetings will be in the library of East Valley High School.