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Sunday, November 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Work to start on new home for Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

Terri Bowen sets up her bingo cards at the old Spokane Youth Sports Association Bingo hall on East Sprague Avenue in 2003. The building, which was originally a Safeway, was demolished this year to make way for a safe shelter for abused and neglected children. (SR)
Terri Bowen sets up her bingo cards at the old Spokane Youth Sports Association Bingo hall on East Sprague Avenue in 2003. The building, which was originally a Safeway, was demolished this year to make way for a safe shelter for abused and neglected children. (SR)

Work will begin soon on the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery on East Sprague Avenue, according to city permit data.

Permits for site grading and preparation and for the 32,000-square-foot building’s foundation were issued this week. When complete, the building will house the crisis nursery, which provides 24-hour emergency care for children up to 6 years old and is a safe shelter for kids who are in crisis situations stemming from families dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence or homelessness.

The new location will help the nonprofit increase its services to abused and neglected children.

The property at 2230 E. Sprague Ave. is on the eastern edge of the Sprague revitalization project, which has seen continued private investment since the city started targeting public dollars there. While currently vacant, the lot was the site of a Safeway built in 1966. The Safeway was designed by architect Kenneth Storment, who also designed the Bon Marche building in downtown Spokane, now called The M, as well as a number of other Safeway stores in the region.

After the grocery store closed, the building was used as a Spokane Youth Sports Association bingo hall for more than 25 years. SYSA Bingo moved out in February 2016. The building sat empty until its demolition earlier this year.

Vanessa Behan bought the building in October 2017 for $1.3 million.

The project’s general contractor is Bouten Construction, of Spokane. It was designed by NAC Architecture.

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