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

The Dirt: Spokane Civic Theatre moves forward with expansion project

This rendering approximates Spokane Civic Theatre’s plans to undergo soundproofing and other renovations to accommodate expected sound pollution from the new downtown stadium.  (Courtesy)

Spokane Civic Theatre is moving forward with a multimillion-dollar expansion project that will bring several updates to its building north of the Spokane River.

Spokane-based Cortner Architectural Co. filed a pre-development application with the city last week to build a 4,000-square-foot addition to the 17,000-square-foot theater at 1020 N. Howard St.

Spokane Civic Theatre is planning a soundproofing project, and in that process it gained opportunity to “optimize” the building by adding a dedicated arts education space, multipurpose rehearsal space, modifications to the studio theater and updates for ADA accessibility, according to the nonprofit organization’s website.

The project is part of the Spokane Civic Theatre’s modernization plan 1CIVIC, which is a $10 million to $20 million capital campaign meant to bring the organization’s functions under one roof.

“With all the development that is happening around the North Bank, we just felt the timing was right to really address this and come up with renovations and an addition to take the Civic Theatre into the next 60 years,” said Jim Cortner, architect for the project.

The project is estimated to cost between $16 million to $20 million, according to the application.

The theater has not yet set a groundbreaking date, as its dependent on project funding, Cortner said.

The campaign will be funded by local, state and national grants, corporate sponsors, multiyear pledges and a grassroots initiative.

The application did not list a contractor for the project.

Spokane Civic Theatre, founded in 1947, is one of a few community theaters that owns its own building and land, according to its website.

The nonprofit organization staged performances at the Post Street Theater and the Riverside Playhouse until its Howard Street facility opened in 1967.

In 1972, the Howard Street building, designed by Moritz Kundig, underwent renovations that included a three-story addition as well as creation of scene and costume shops and a space that later became the Firth J Chew Studio Theatre.

The facility also houses the Main Stage theater, with a seating capacity of 339 people, while the Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre has seating for 88, according to the organization’s website.

Idaho Central Credit Union plans branch

Idaho Central Credit Union is continuing its rapid expansion in the Spokane region with plans for a new branch in downtown Spokane.

The credit union filed a permit request with the city for renovations on the first floor of the former Banner Bank building at 41 W. Riverside Ave. The credit union will occupy nearly 5,000 square feet in the building.

The permit valuation is $498,285, according to the application.

The project architect is Boise-based Lombard Conrad Architects. The contractor is Dardan Enterprises, of Post Falls.

Idaho Central Credit Union, founded in 1940 and headquartered in Chubbuck, Idaho, holds more than $7 billion in assets and has more than 440,000 members in Idaho and Washington.

The credit union also is planning new branches in north Spokane, Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley, in addition to downtown Spokane.

The credit union submitted a building permit application with the city in January to build a nearly 10,000-square-foot branch with a drive-thru at 21398 E. Country Vista Drive in Liberty Lake.

Permits are also under review by the city of Spokane Valley for a branch at 16015 E. Broadway Ave. The credit union submitted a separate application with the city of Spokane in January to demolish the interior of an existing building at 9506 N. Newport Highway to make way for a future branch.

The branches would be the credit union’s first in the Spokane area. It has locations in Post Falls, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene.

Take 5 Oil Change coming to region

Take 5 Oil Change is expanding to the Pacific Northwest with its first location in Spokane.

Spokane Valley-based Whipple Consulting Engineers filed a pre-development application with the city for a 1,340-square-foot oil change building with three bays at 2002 N. Division St.

The estimated project cost is $500,000, according to the application.

Take 5 Oil Change was founded in 1984 in Metairie, Louisiana. By 2005, the franchise grew to 15 shops. Take 5 Oil Change now has more than 500 locations nationwide, according to its website.

Industrial development set for the West Plains

Developers are considering a new industrial project on the West Plains.

Portland, Oregon-based VLMK Engineering and Design submitted a pre-development application with the city to build four speculative industrial buildings spanning a total of more than 871,500 square feet on nearly 48 acres of vacant land at 7525 W. Sunset Highway.

The application did not specify an estimated project cost or contractor.