Spokane school district officials say they’re not surprised that voters chose the current Albi Stadium site by a two-to-one margin over a downtown site for a new high school sports stadium.
Stadium funding is part of the $495 million bond issue voters approved on Tuesday. The school board held an advisory vote to gauge the community sentiment about the two sites.
Associate Superintendent Mark Anderson says there are compelling reasons to build downtown, but voters weren’t convinced.
“Folks tend to be more comfortable with the familiar and that was an option that was the school district’s first option, was to downsize Albi right where it was and be able to build a new middle school,” Anderson said.
The downtown option would have allowed the district to level Albi and allow new fields to be added to an existing sports complex nearby.
The final stadium siting decision is up to the school board. Anderson says that decision will need to be made soon "because we need to get that downsized so that we can build that middle school on the parking lot," Anderson said. "So it would be one of the early, we’re planning to do the northside schools, both the replacement of Glover and Shaw and the addition of a new school at stadium and a new school at Foothills during the first three-to-four years of the bond.”
Anderson says the district intends to sell its first set of bonds to finance the first wave of school projects sometime in January.