Spokane Journal of Business

Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center plans $3.5 million building

New facility would replace South Sherman structure

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The Spokane-based Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center plans to develop a new $3.5 million facility to replace the current building located at 855 S. Sherman, says Freda Gandy, the center’s director.  

Coeur d’Alene-based Watson & Herres LLC, architects on the project, says the building will be a two-story structure with about 5,500 square feet of space on each floor and will sit on a roughly one-acre site. The existing school will be demolished to make way for the new center. 

Gandy says no contractor has been hired for the project, but she is hoping to solicit bids in the spring of 2016. She estimates construction will begin in 2017. She says the center will be launching a $3.5 million capital campaign in coming months to fund the project.

The new facility will provide classroom space on the first floor for children age 3 ½ to 12 years as well as before- and after-school programs. Each classroom will have access to its own bathroom, a family resource room, laundry, and a multipurpose room. 

The upper floors of the new building will include therapist and counselor offices, administrative offices, and bathrooms, and the building will have an elevator, she adds. 

The nonprofit MLK Center provides preschool and summer learning programs, as well as after-school programs for students from Grant, Sheridan, and Franklin elementary schools. Gandy says when the after-school program is at full capacity, MLK is able to serve about 50 students. Due to lack of space, it currently has to turn away some students who are eligible, or put them on a waiting list, she says. The new building will enable the center to accept more children in those programs, she says.

The MLK Center is funded through donations, grants and contributions from Spokane County United Way.

Judith  Spitzer
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Reporter Judith Spitzer covers technology, mining, agriculture, and wood products for the Journal. A vintage-obsessed antique collector in her off hours, Judith worked as a journalist in Colorado and Oregon before joining the Journal.

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