Bob Wood stood in a gleaming hallway at Mt. Spokane-Mead High School with his mouth agape Wednesday night.
“This place is huge,” said Wood, whose grandson, Brandon, will soon be a freshman at the new $23 million school.
“I’ll tell you, I was originally against this place. I wanted it to stay a wheat field,” Wood said. “But being in here has changed that.
“It’s gorgeous. I just hope the kids appreciate what they’ve got.”
Wood joined about 500 people attending Wednesday’s dedication ceremony. Half of them filled the stands in the gymnasium while the rest toured the facilities. All seemed impressed.
This year, Mt. Spokane-Mead will feature 900 freshmen, sophomores and juniors, but no seniors. Enrollment is expected to swell to 1,300 students in 1998-99.
“I’m looking forward to school starting,” said sophomore Jake Swanson, who is vying for a starting quarterback spot on the Wildcats football team.
“Coming from Mead Junior High, this place just seems so much bigger and better,” he said.
During the ceremony, Swanson and the rest of his teammates wrapped up a night of meetings with coaches. The team practices for the first time this morning.
Assistant football coach Greg Schultz spent 19 years teaching and coaching at Mead High School. Leaving Mead was hard, he said, but the excitement at Mt. Spokane-Mead has given him a fresh outlook.
“I feel like I’ve started a second career,” Schultz said. “Leaving that senior class at Mead was hard, but there is an unmistakable enthusiasm here.”
Rep. George Nethercutt of Spokane was also on hand for the festivities.
“This symbolizes hope for the future,” Nethercutt told the crowd. “This is a good model for the community.”
During the event, junior Bree Klobucher sat behind the counter of “Cat Pause” - the student refreshment stand - and rang up her first sale. A dollar for two cans of Coke.
It’s a high-tech operation, equipped with supermarket-style scanners and computers that keep track of sales.
The refreshment stand is on the second floor of the two-story building. It sits just around the corner from the elevator. Yes, elevator.
Mt. Spokane-Mead boasts more amenities than most high schools. On the first floor are three rooms designated the “Family and Consumer Lab.”
“This place is so neat,” Klobucher said. “It’s got everything.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map of Mt. Spokane-Mead Senior High School area
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