An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ground Broken For New Spokane Middle Schools, Including One Named After Tribal Elder

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

This week, Spokane Public Schools has broken ground for two of its three new middle schools.

On Wednesday, the district held a ceremony to formally begin the building of the new Denny Yasuhara Middle School in northeast Spokane. On Thursday, the district celebrated the beginning of construction at Pauline Flett Middle School near Albi Stadium.That celebration included drumming by members of the Spokane Tribe. Until her death last year, Pauline Flett was one of its elders, a point made by Spokane school board member Jenny Slagle.

“Pauline Flett’s contribution to not only the Spokane Tribe, but the surrounding community, is so monumental in that she nearly single-handedly saved the dialect of the Spokane language. Now we’re carrying her voice forward into the 21st century by making this another one of our inclusive schools here," she said.

Construction on the new school has already begun. It is located behind the VA Medical Center in northwest Spokane. It sits on what has been for dozens of years a dirt parking lot outside Albi Stadium. The stadium is also owned by the school district and will be razed if it finalizes plans with the Public Facilities District to build its new outdoor downtown stadium.

The new school will open in the fall of 2022 and house sixth-through-eighth graders. Its graduates will attend Shadle Park High School.