Mullan Road school ceremony kicks off next series of modernizations


Spokane Public Schools is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony at Mullan Road Elementary School, 2616 E. 63rd Ave., at 2 p.m. today

The $16.2 million modernization adds 10 classrooms to Mullan Road’s newer building and removes the so-called Comstock Addition, which is from 1956 and was moved to Mullan Road in 1977 from then-Comstock Elementary School.

Kevin Morrison, community relations specialist for Spokane Public Schools, said students will remain at the school during construction, which is expected to be done in December 2015.

On April 22, there will be a groundbreaking for the new $14.5 million gymnasium at Salk Middle School.

“That should be done right before Christmas,” Morrison said.

Hutton Elementary School is also getting ready for its $28.8 million modernization and reconstruction to begin in early June.

“This will require moving students to the old Jefferson Elementary School for a year,” Morrison said, adding that the historical nature of the buildings at Hutton may provide some unforeseen challenges.

“We really hope it will be done in a year,” Morrison said, “but as with any old building you don’t know what’s inside the walls until you get in there.”

Finch Elementary School is halfway through its $26.9 million modernization.

“We are hoping to get the fifth- and sixth-graders back up there before Christmas break this year,” Morrison said. “And everyone else by next school year.”

Morrison said new science classrooms added to North Central High School are expected to be done this fall. This $16 million project consolidates science classrooms in one building as well as updates and adds new classroom space.

“And the Hart Field project is almost done; it should be finished in late spring,” Morrison said. “It sounds like we will turf it so we can make it play-ready faster. It should get some summer use.” The update of Hart Field will cost about $5 million, up from the originally budgeted $2.5 million because of changes to the original design.

Most of the Spokane Public Schools modernizations and updates are funded by a bond passed by voters in 2009, as well as some state funding.

Morrison said Spokane Public Schools does not have any firm plans for the old Jefferson Elementary School once the Hutton students are out.

“The only thing we know is we can’t use it as a school,” Morrison said. “We got state funding for the new Jefferson School and the state says you can’t have both.”

Later this spring, Newtech Skill Center will begin a $13.7 million expansion and renovation that will add 37,000 square feet of new classrooms and administration space. Morrison said that expansion is funded by the state.

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