The new Shaw Middle School will feel much like a campus, and not just for the students.
Spokane Public Schools is about to turn Cook Street, which borders Shaw on the west, into a unifying feature for kids, families, neighborhood groups and seniors who just want to drop by and check out a book.
“It will definitely have a community feel,” Associate Superintendent Mark Anderson said.
The funding will also be communal.
Of the $1.2 million project cost, the city of Spokane will contribute $721,317 .
Officially known as the Cook Street Traffic Calming Project, the joint venture will include landscaping, wider sidewalks and pavers to slow neighborhood traffic.
On Wednesday night, the school board is expected to make the project official by approving an agreement with the city.
Construction would begin later this month, just as the 60-year-old Shaw building is demolished.
Part of the landmark capital bond approved by voters in 2018, the new $66 million building will open this fall.
Encompassing 150,000 square feet, it will include 41 classrooms, a commons and kitchen, gymnasium and other standard equipment, plus a community outreach center.
The new Shaw will also include a joint-use library accessible to the public – one more reason to slow the traffic on Cook.
Also expected to open in the fall, it will include a retractable door to accommodate library access outside of school hours, plus a mountain-themed children’s area, three private group study rooms, a large event space and a maker studio.
“It shows the value of the partnerships that we have with the city and library,” Anderson said.
More foot traffic will be coming from the Northeast Community Center, which also is on Cook.
“We want to be able to connect to the community center, because our kids want access and our seniors want access to the library,” Anderson said.
Bus pickups would generally be on the south side of the new Shaw building.
However, handicap-accessible vehicles would be allowed to drop off passengers on Cook.
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