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Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane City Council approves Sportsplex agreement

The family of Amanda Hansen owns the former warehouse at left while the city of Spokane owns the derelict former Carnation Dairy building at right. The leaking, crumbling dairy building has forced rainwater from its roof through the walls into the dance studio and wedding venue run by Hansen. The Spokane City Council voted to settle litigation with Hansen. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The family of Amanda Hansen owns the former warehouse at left while the city of Spokane owns the derelict former Carnation Dairy building at right. The leaking, crumbling dairy building has forced rainwater from its roof through the walls into the dance studio and wedding venue run by Hansen. The Spokane City Council voted to settle litigation with Hansen. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane City Council approved an agreement Monday which will soon allow the city to purchase property and begin development of a $42 million Sportsplex.

The deal, passed on a 6-1 vote, includes terms that will allow Parks Department activities such as recreational sports leagues to use the new Sportsplex.

The financial piece of the agreement includes $2.2 million to purchase property and settle litigation for the project on the north bank of the Spokane River. The legal issues included a 2017 lawsuit regarding a building owned by the family of Amanda Hansen that housed a dance studio and wedding venue.

Rick Romero, a consultant and former city utilities director, said $650,000 is coming from the Parks Department, $1.1 will come from the Public Facilities District and the remaining $450,000 will come from the city’s risk pool fund.

Stephanie Curran, CEO of the PFD, said once the validation process is completed, the PFD can release updated cost estimates and design information. She said the Sportsplex could cost between $42 and $47 million to build. She said construction is slated to begin next year and be completed in 2021.

The only city council member to vote against the agreement was Kate Burke, who said she she was concerned the Sportsplex might not offer many benefits to her north Spokane district. Burke said she believes the city could be using the $5 million set aside for the Sportsplex to pay for other issues, such as homelessness and affordable housing.

She said if more affordable or free programs were offered at the other PFD sites, such as the First Interstate Center for the Arts, she might be more supportive of the project.

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