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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

School’s neighbors sue over move plan

As promised, a group of South Hill neighbors filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent Spokane Public Schools from using bond money to rebuild Jefferson Elementary School on the west side of its property.

The suit argues that language for the bond on the 2009 ballot, which included Jefferson, stated that the district would “modernize” the elementary school, would not move it and would construct a new school.

“If they wanted to relocate and rebuild the school, they should have said that,” said Seattle lawyer David Bricklin. He was hired by the Hart Field Preservation Organization, a group of neighbors who live nearest to the west end of the property where the school would be relocated.

Sally Fullmer, a candidate running for Spokane school board, is a member of the organization.

“The district position on this matter has been and remains that our actions are consistent with the law,” said Mark Anderson, Spokane Public Schools’ associate superintendent. “We will then be moving ahead to finalize the plans and begin construction in June 2012.”

The decision to move the school from its current location at 37th Avenue and Grand Boulevard to 37th and Manito Boulevard did not come lightly. The district spent about a year analyzing traffic and studying the impact on home sales. The school board took hours of testimony on the proposed changes to Jefferson and received hundreds of letters and emails.

Most recently, a specialist determined that building the school at the proposed location would have no significant impact on the environment under the State Environmental Protection Act, Anderson said.

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