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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mead voters agree to pay for new middle school, football stadium

Mead's Joseph Heitman (2) runs the ball for 4-yards as Mt. Spokane's Jagger Jacobi (11) move in to tackleduring the first half of a GSL high school football game at Joe Albi Stadium, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, in Spokane, Wash. COLIN MULVANY (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Voters sided with school officials trying to keep up with growth in north Spokane and agreed gave the Mead School District another $114 million for a new middle school, elementary school and football stadium.

About 67 percent of Mead voters supported the bond which needed more than 60 percent of voters’ approval to pass.

By building a new stadium, Mead and Mt. Spokane high schools will no longer have to rely on scheduling games at the aging Joe Albi Stadium.

“That was the really important one there with the growth we are having,” Superintendent Tom Rockefeller said of the bond. “We are getting to be that size of a community that we need to invest in ourselves so we are not reliant on other places.”

The bond will pay for a new middle school on Five Mile Prairie and an elementary school at a site still under negotiation. Rockefeller previously said that new school will be built somewhere along the U.S. Highway 395 corridor.

“I heard that from the community quite a bit that we needed space for our kids,” he said. “I think that’s a heckuva step forward.”

It’s only the second bond that voters approved for the Mead School District since 1998. The bond will add about 65 classrooms, which should be enough to house about 1,300 students, Rockefeller said.

Rockefeller said school officials pursued the bond after the district added 458 students this year and projected another 400 next year.

“By 2025, we are supposed to grow by about 3,000 more kids” to add to the 10,500 students already in the district, he said in an earlier interview.