Spokane Public Schools plans to develop an $18 million addition to its Spokane Area Professional-Technical Skills Center, in the Hillyard neighborhood, says Gregory Brown, the district's director of capital projects.
The district, which is asking interested architects to submit their qualifications to handle pre-design, design, contract administration, and other services on the project, envisions a two-story, 30,000-square-foot building that would house its planned Health Sciences Academy and would provide additional space for its crowded vocational programs at the skills center, at 4141 N. Regal, Brown says.
"For the last two or three years, we've been talking about adding a Health Services Academy," Brown says.
Now, the Washington state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has included the project in its proposed capital budget request for the 2009-2011 biennium, Brown says. If the Legislature approves the request, design work would begin on the project next July, and the project would be put out to bid in the spring of 2010, he says.
The skills center provides high-school juniors and seniors with applied, entry-level skills to qualify them to work in technical fields.
Brown says the Health Sciences Academy would take up roughly half the space in the proposed addition. Programs in the academy, most of which would be new, would include technical courses in the fields of dentistry, nursing, medical laboratory technology, and physical and occupational therapy, he says.
"Originally, we talked about putting it at a community college or in the Riverpoint Higher Education Park," he says, but the district decided building the addition at the skills center would help provide space to meet needs there, he says.
The culinary arts program at the skills center would be expanded into the addition, Brown says. "The culinary arts program is limited in what it can teach because of lack of space."
The rest of the space would be general classroom space, which would offset overcrowding at the center, he says.
Preliminary design documents show the addition is proposed on the south side of the 70,000-square-foot, single-story skills center, but the precise orientation of the addition will be decided after the district talks with the city of Spokane and the neighborhood about its potential effects on traffic patterns, Brown says.
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