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Central Valley District Dedicates New Schools

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Many students in Spokane’s Central Valley School District will return to new classrooms when they start school on the Wednesday after Labor Day. During the next few weeks, the district is dedicating five new or renovated facilities. They were paid for mostly by a $122 million bond issue approved by voters in 2015.

The new Liberty Creek Elementary School in Liberty Lake was the first to be opened to the public during a ceremony Tuesday evening.

It’s not often that a superintendent will take a visitor to a school library to show off the view. But Central Valley Superintendent Ben Small says its location and big picture windows make the Liberty Creek library a place you want to spend time.

“There’s the valley that Liberty Creek runs through and you get a view of that ravine that Liberty Creek runs down into the lake. And natural light coming in," he said.

Little details like that can help a child learn, says Small. This is a school devoted to the youngest students, kindergarten through second grade, one of only a few such schools in the state.

“The thing that’s unique about Liberty Creek is that this school was paid for completely by a grant from the state of Washington for class size reduction,” he said.

Small says Central Valley received the money to help get its ratio down to 17-students-per-teacher as mandated by the state for kindergarten through third grade classrooms.

“Being a K-2 school, we were able to really build this school based on that 20-point-eight million dollar grant, which allowed us to free up local resources to build Riverbend and also North Pines Middle School,” he said.

Those two schools will open next year.

During the next few weeks, Central Valley will hold dedication ceremonies for four remodeled facilities, Evergreen Middle School and Greenacres, Chester and Sunrise Elementary Schools. These are in addition to four other projects that have been finished and opened in the last two years. And plans are underway for another bond issue next February to fund three more school projects.