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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley High building playhouse for Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

When students at Spokane Valley High School began a class about early childhood education and pregnancy, they didn’t expect it to end with a playhouse project.

But it did: Students are just about ready to put the last nails into a new playhouse for Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

The playhouse is being built in the parking lot by the school and on June 13 it will be delivered to the nursery.

Teacher Joni Chambers said the students made a field trip to Vanessa Behan and then began talking about what the crisis nursery needed.

“They have a small playhouse,” said Ethan Steiner, 18, “and we figured we could build them a new and better one.”

The class was broken down into construction and design groups, and the students raised $2,500, including a $1,500 grant from the Washington Education Association.

Chambers said they got a lot of materials donated and that professional carpenters help out every Friday.

“It’s been frustrating but fun,” said Steiner.

For instance: The trusses didn’t fit right and had to be replaced. Sometimes one team working on the playhouse did things differently than another team, and work had to be redone – but it’s all coming together in time for delivery.

The unpredictable weather did not help the project.

“They couldn’t work on it over winter,” Chambers said, “so we really stepped it up in spring, and then it rained.”

The playhouse is wet, but fine, nestled under blue tarps in the parking lot.

“We have learned a ton of new things,” said Michael Alkana, 15.

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