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Christian school hopes to buy old University High School

The old University High School in Spokane Valley on  Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The old University High School in Spokane Valley on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The old University High School building is for sale after a flurry of school construction, remodeling and relocation in the Central Valley School District, and a small Christian school hopes to purchase it.

“We’ve been looking to secure a long-term location,” said Valley Christian School Board Chairman Brent Pope. “Right now this is looking like our best option.”

Valley Christian leases part of the building. Sunrise Elementary, a public school, is temporarily housed in the old high school as well as the sixth-grade class from Evergreen Middle School.

Pope wouldn’t reveal the price quoted to Valley Christian. However, Central Valley district spokeswoman Marla Nunberg said in August the district’s board set the minimum at $4.41 million. The plot is assessed at $11 million. The lot was appraised at $1 million in April of 2015.

Valley Christian School has been at the University High location for 12 years. About 300 students attend it. Between Valley Christian and Sunrise Elementary, about 1,000 students are in the building, Pope said.

If the sale goes through, Valley Christian plans to lease out a portion of the building to generate revenue.

“We believe that if God wants us to be here then it will work out,” Pope said.

Nunberg said the sale was precipitated by a $121.9 million construction bond approved by voters in February 2015.

The building last was used as University High School in 2002, when the new school was opened.

The district’s Early Learning Center has been in the building for several years. More recently, elementary schools displaced by remodeling and construction have used the building temporarily.

The completed remodel of the former Yoke’s supermarket on North Progress Road last year allowed the district to move the Early Learning Center from the old University High building.

“We don’t have a viable use for the property,” Nunberg said.

Sunrise Elementary students moved into the old high school while the Sunrise Elementary school building is remodeled. That work is expected to be complete by August 2017.

The district is moving forward on other projects, using bond money and class-size reduction grant money from the state.

Chester Elementary (expected completion June 2017), Greenacres Elementary (August 2017), Sunrise Elementary (August 2017), Opportunity Elementary (December 2017), and Evergreen Middle School (August 2017) are being remodeled and expanded.

Liberty Creek Elementary in Liberty Lake (expected completion August 2017) and Ponderosa Elementary (March 2018) will be new buildings.

North Pines Middle School (August 2018) and an elementary at Mission Avenue and Long Road (July 2018) are in the design process. Both projects are funded by a class-size reduction state grant, Nunberg said.

This story was updated for clarity.

The original version of this story misstated the minimum sales price asked by the school board. It has been corrected.


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