Valley Christian School has purchased the old University High School building in Spokane Valley.
Brent Pope, chairman of Valley Christian board, said school officials have been working on purchasing a building for some time. It has leased part of the old University High School for the past 10 years, but the purchase means Valley Christian can expand its elementary school classes and will be able to serve hot lunches in the cafeteria.
“We have had a great working relationship with Central Valley, but this is great,” Pope said.
In 2016, Central Valley School District set a minimum sales price of $4.14 million for the 156,000-square-foot building, which sits on 23.7 acres at 10212 E. Ninth Ave.
Valley Christian paid $4.41 million for the property, including a $1.25 million down payment, with the remainder to be paid over 60 months.
“Central Valley will finance a portion of the property and we will be making interest payments to them, and finally a balloon payment at the end of the 60 months,” Pope said.
Central Valley School District’s Sunrise Elementary School has been temporarily housed in the building, but will move to a newly remodeled building at the beginning of the school year.
Marla Nunberg, Central Valley School District spokeswoman, said the district may still lease some of the building in the future if another school bond passes in 2018 and the space is temporarily needed.
Central Valley School District passed a $121.9 million construction bond in 2015 – the first bond approved by voters in 17 years – that provided for the Sunrise Elementary School remodeling and projects at other schools in the district.
The last time the Valley Christian building was used as a high school was in 2002.
Pope said the opportunity to lease space to Central Valley, as well as lease sports fields to recreational programs, made the deal more feasible.
About 300 students attend Valley Christian, and the student population has been growing by about 10 percent a year the past five years, Pope said.
“We have been praying to God to get our own building,” he said. “Suddenly, the doors started opening for us and we walked through them.”
Valley Christian is planning a ribbon-cutting celebration about the time when school starts, Pope said.
“Watch for big announcements,” he said. “We really want to get the word out there.”
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