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

Spokane School Board has water tower decision on Hamblen property on deck for Wednesday

Spokane is considering a proposal to build a 100-foot-tall water tower in Hamblen Park.  (COLIN MULVANY)

The Spokane School Board is expected to take action Wednesday night on the city’s request for an easement allowing the construction of a 100-foot-tall water tower adjacent to Hamblen Park.

The water tower would be located on land that is part of the Hamblen Elementary School property, thereby requiring district approval.

City of Spokane officials say the tower is needed to increase reliability of the water system on the South Hill, both for firefighting and to meet peak residential demand during the summer.

If approved by the school board and the Spokane City Council, construction would begin in the spring of 2023 and be completed in the fall of 2024.

The Hamblen site was among several under consideration; however, it emerged as the city’s favorite because of its location near the center of a water pressure zone and the relatively flat area surrounding it.

Moreover, a poll conducted by the city showed heavy citizen support for the Hamblen Park location over the other two choices: city-owned land at 31st Avenue and Napa Street near the Touchmark assisted living facility, and on the site of an existing reservoir at Garden Park on 37th Avenue and Stone Street.

Of the nearly 850 responses to the survey, more than 56% said they preferred the Hamblen alternative.

“We’ve had support for the project and we’ve had some community members against it,” said Shawn Jordan, chief operations officer for the school district.

Jordan added that the district has met with the Parent Teacher Group at Hamblen “and had overwhelming support.”

During Wednesday’s presentation, Jordan will be joined by Marlene Feist, director of public works for the city of Spokane.

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer also will attend.

The water tank will be 90- to 100-feet tall and will hold up to 2 million gallons of water. It will sit atop a 50-to-60-foot diameter concrete base pedestal at the northeast corner of the Hamblen school lot and adjacent to Hamblen Park.