Spokane Junior Academy, a private school operated by Seventh-day Adventist churches for children in kindergarten through 10th grade, has started site development for its long-envisioned new school building in northwest Spokane.
Art Lenz, building committee chairman for Spokane Junior Academy, says the school still is raising money and taking in-kind contributions for the project, which is expected to cost $5.5 million to complete. He says, however, that construction will start this fall, and the school hopes to complete the new facility in time for the start of the 2006-2007 school year.
Slated to be built on a 39-acre site at 1115 N. Government Way, the school will include a total of 54,000 square feet of floor space, Lenz says. Initially, he says, about 43,000 square feet of space there will be finished, and about 11,000 square feet of space will be roughed in for future expansion.
Donald Bryan, school principal at the academy, says the new building will give the school much more space than the 27,000-square-foot structure it currently occupies at 1505 W. Cleveland, on Spokanes North Side.
The school has 123 students enrolled for the 2005-2006 school year. Once it moves into its new facility, it hopes to add grades 11 and 12 and more than double its enrollment to 300 students within five years, Bryan says.
Spokane Junior Academy is acting as its own contractor, and a Walla Walla architectural firm designed the school building.
Lenz says the school also wants to build a building to house Christian Playcare Center, a day-care center currently operated in the Junior Academy building on Cleveland Avenue. That building would be located to the north of the school structure and would cost about $400,000 to build. Lenz says the school hopes to start construction on that building in the coming months and to complete it around the same time as the school structure, but completion of the school project will be its main focus.
Spokane Junior Academy sold its school building about three years ago to Spokane Christian Fellowship and has been leasing it back from that group. The school must vacate the building, however, next fall.
Bryan says Seventh-day Adventist churches have operated a private school in the Spokane area since 1898, and the school has operated as Spokane Junior Academy since 1939.
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