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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mission building center for women, kids in CdA

“The Lord saved me from homelessness,” said Marianne Fox of Coeur d’Alene during the groundbreaking for the Union Gospel Mission Center for Women and Children in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. (Kathy Plonka)
“The Lord saved me from homelessness,” said Marianne Fox of Coeur d’Alene during the groundbreaking for the Union Gospel Mission Center for Women and Children in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. (Kathy Plonka)

Union Gospel Mission broke ground Thursday in Coeur d’Alene on a women’s and children’s residential recovery center that represents the faith-based nonprofit’s first foray outside of Spokane County.

When completed, the 42,878-square-foot center at 196 W. Haycraft Ave. will offer six rooms for short-term “rescue” and 28 rooms devoted to long-term recovery. Total capacity, depending on the number of children, will be between 80 and 100.

“It’s becoming a reality,” said Phil Altmeyer, executive director of Union Gospel Mission. “This shelter is located in Coeur d’Alene, but it is here to serve Kootenai County.”

The $5.7 million project is expected to welcome its first residents in July 2012.

The main building will include a kitchen, dining room, clinic, chapel, classrooms, computer lab and child care center. The nonprofit purchased 2.7 acres with expansion in mind, including possibly serving men and two-parent families one day.

“When there is a place like this in a community that can reach out to people … and listen to where they are and what they need, it doesn’t solve all the problems, but it sets them on the path forward,” said Idaho First Lady Lori Otter, who attended the groundbreaking along with Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem, two Kootenai County commissioners and the mayors of several smaller cities.

Altmeyer said the need among homeless women and children is clear in Kootenai County. A January count revealed 559 homeless people, 41 percent of them female and 25 percent under age 18.

Jeff Conroy, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho, said he treasures the way nonprofits in Kootenai County work together. “There is such a wonderful, loving network of nonprofits in this area,” he said. “I’m excited to have UGM join the network.”

Liberty Lake housing development proposed

Liberty Lake-based Greenstone Corp. is seeking approval to build a 67-acre residential development on the east edge of that city.

The company, founded by Jim Frank, proposes building more than 320 single-family homes on land just south of Hawkstone/Liberty Village, a large mixed-used development in Liberty Lake.

The proposed project is called Rocky Hill North.

Liberty Lake Hearing Examiner Greg Smith has recommended approval of the project. A city council vote on the proposal will be Tuesday.

All the homes to be built will be priced from $150,000 to $400,000, according to preliminary reports.

The 67 acres were formerly used for farming. It’s situated roughly half a mile south of Appleway Avenue, and bordered on the west by East Country Vista Drive. The development is being done in a partnership between Greenstone and Judi and Bill Williams, who have owned the property.

If approved, the plan is to start construction later this year, said project manager Drew Benado.

Rocky Hill North will take five to eight years to complete in several stages, an application indicates.

Permit approved for Rathdrum science center

Construction will begin soon on the STAR Science Center, a hands-on science and technology center near Rathdrum, Idaho.

Kootenai County Commissioners this week approved a conditional-use permit for the 20,000-square-foot center, expected to open in September 2012 and be used by students from area schools.

The building, off of Willadsen Road north of Rathdrum, will have interactive exhibits, science laboratories and opportunities for students to explore robotics, molecular biology, chemistry, alternative energy, and mining and agricultural technology.

Schools will be able to use lab space for special projects, while the natural outdoor setting will be available for research related to alternative energy, forestry and farming. Mentor scientists will work with students to conduct research and address challenges facing industries.

The Science, Technology and Agricultural Research Center is funded by Discover Technology, a nonprofit organization founded by Rathdrum residents Lorna and Paul Finman to foster learning and innovation in science and technology. The Finmans have donated $3 million to Discover Technology.

Petunia’s Marketplace adds greenhouse

Stacy Blowers, owner of Petunia’s Marketplace in north Spokane, has opened her new greenhouse in a converted garage next to her food shop.

Petunia’s Marketplace which opened roughly a year ago, sells homemade food items, organic vegetables and assorted other crafts. It’s at 2010 N. Madison St.

Blowers spent several months converting the garage into a place both for starting plants and hosting evening dinners.

The greenhouse has potted tomatoes, basil, peppers and herbs for sale. The store hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Shabby-chic shop opens on Monroe

Paint in Your Hair, a local artisan shop and shabby-chic furniture seller, opened its doors last week at 2810 N. Monroe St.

The shop is the first retail business for owner Jessica Jochim. The store will sell home and garden items, artisan crafts and stressed furniture.

Hours are 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.

Tom Sowa and Scott Maben contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on development and business changes in the Inland Northwest. E-mail or call (509) 459-5528.
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