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Demolition of Riverfront Park’s Imax building expected in March

Permits for the demolition of the Imax building and the roof over the ice rink were reissued last week by the city of Spokane, signaling that work on the redevelopment of Riverfront Park continues despite a slight delay to allow for more public input and revisions to the project.

Demolition is expected in March.

Garco Construction, the project’s general contractor, was to bring the Imax building down in November, but its work was delayed.

According to Fianna Dickson, spokeswoman for the city parks department, the delay allowed for additional public input, revisions to lighting and shelter designs, and more redevelopment work into the portion of the park project focused on the U.S. Pavilion area.

The decision to demolish the Imax theater came in September 2016, but its fate had been discussed for years. A master plan for the park’s redevelopment, agreed to in 2014, called for closing the Imax because of declining revenues.

The Imax building was built in 1978 and reached peak attendance in 2005 with 106,000 visitors. The attraction’s revenues plummeted following the opening of the Imax screen at the AMC cinema in nearby River Park Square and the loss of licensing to show big-budget Hollywood films in 2009. In 2012, the theater lost $342,000 and saw 36,500 people attend movies.

The theater building will not be replaced. Its location will be open space, called a “central meadow,” between the U.S. Pavilion and the paved Howard Street promenade running through the park.

$1.6 million apartment complex planned in Coeur d’Alene

Permits for a 20-unit, $1.6 million apartment complex in Coeur d’Alene were issued this week, according to city permit data.

The complex at 3855 N. Hudson Circle is being developed as affordable housing by Whitewater Creek Inc., a Hayden-based construction and development company that has brought hundreds of low-income and affordable apartments to North Idaho.

The company, started in 1994 by Maryann and Todd Prescott, has built units in Idaho and Washington, including: the $5 million, 60-unit Kathleen Corners affordable units built in 2005 in Coeur d’Alene, units in the Riverstone mixed-use community near the Spokane River, and apartments close to the CrossRoads Coeur d’Alene retail center that contains WinCo Foods.

The company also has built apartments in Spokane and Sandpoint.

According to permits, ZBA Architecture designed the project, and AHBL Inc. performed the structural engineering. Whitewater Creek owns the property and is the project’s general contractor.

SCC building suites for nursing simulation

Spokane Community College is spending $482,500 to build new nursing simulation suites and observation rooms.

The project in SCC Building 16, which also houses the campus library, will build three suites that mimic hospital rooms in which manikins will be used. Each suite will adjoin an observation room with one-way glass. Students and instructors in the observation room will watch nursing students deal with a variety of simulations while controlling the manikin.

“We can see out and see what the students are doing, but they can’t see in,” said Cheri Osler, associate dean of nursing at SCC.


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