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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Social Service Groups Want Single Valley Facility

A group of social service representatives has decided they will seek one location in the Spokane Valley with room for them all. Their intent is to ready themselves to serve a growing population in the year 2010 or 2015.

“We’re all going, or none of us are going,” said Barbara Olson, president of the interagency committee and director of the Valley Center.

Olson presented a preliminary plan this week to Mirabeau Point supporters, showing the scope of services the committee believes are needed. Those services range from anger management classes to family planning, from dental clinics to a kitchen for cooking classes. Olson stressed that education will be a component in every program.

The first figure the committee came up with for needed space is more than 100,000 square feet.

“That’s the size of two elementary schools,” Olson said, adding that the figure would certainly be cut back due to fiscal realities.

The groups involved in the effort to plan for future social services in the Valley are either public agencies or nonprofits: Children’s Home Society, East Valley School District, Spokane Regional Health District, Meals on Wheels, Spokane Valley Rotary, YMCA and YWCA.

It’s uncertain just what the next step of this effort will be.

No clear discussion has begun yet about where the money would come from to build a social services center for the Valley. Is there a place for such a center at Mirabeau? The answer to that should be clearer in a few weeks.

In mid-August, meetings with school district and community college representatives should result in a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on the proposed performing arts center and classroom space for Mirabeau.

If sources for money to build and operate those two elements of Mirabeau can’t be found, land earmarked for those projects would open up, Ashlock said.

Regardless of location problems, “from Mirabeau’s standpoint, we absolutely encourage your group to continue work. Your work will be a tremendous asset to the area,” Ashlock said.

, DataTimes

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