The Central Valley School District Board of Directors approved boundary changes Monday night, in preparation for two new schools planned in the northeast end of the district.
The changes are contingent on a $55.2 million construction bond voters will be asked to approve in March. It would pay for the remodel of three aging school buildings, and would build a middle school in Liberty Lake and an elementary school in the northeast part of the district to help alleviate growing pains. The elementary could be completed as early as 2007.
In January, the board asked a boundary review committee to establish which children would go to those schools and how the boundaries at other schools would shift as a result.
“We wanted to be able to tell the community” what the boundaries would look like for the new schools, said Anne Long, school board president.
When the committee presented its recommended boundaries in May, little resistance was offered to the middle school boundaries but several parents voiced concern over the proposed elementary school boundaries in the Liberty Lake area.
Under the committee’s original recommendation, about 75 students who live on the west side of Liberty Lake would have been moved from Liberty Lake Elementary to Greenacres Elementary. Residents complained that the neighborhood on the west side of the lake was there before any of the new developments now overwhelming the school system, and should be allowed to remain at Liberty Lake, as the board decided Monday.
“I think initially, all of us had some unease…taking the people on one side of the lake out of their community,” Long said. “We felt like it was their desire, and our desire, that they be allowed to stay.”
Currently, all middle-school students between Barker Road and the Idaho state line attend Greenacres Middle School. The new boundaries would be Barker to Harvard Road. Students from Harvard to Idaho, and north to the Spokane River, would attend the new middle school in Liberty Lake.
If voters approve the bond, the new middle school would be built on 23 acres the district already owns, adjacent to Liberty Lake Elementary.
The district purchased a new elementary site at Mission and Long in February, though it is unclear whether that would be the site for the new school. The district is negotiating with a Liberty Lake developer for land near Mission and Holl.
The boundaries for the new elementary would look the same regardless of which site the district chooses.
Along with boundaries for a new elementary school building, Progress, Greenacres and Liberty Lake elementary schools would experience a shift.
If the bond is approved, the cost to taxpayers would be an additional 70 cents per $1,000 assessed property valuation. Central Valley residents now pay $5.63 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
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