SPOKANE, Wash. - An historic building in East Central Spokane about to be given new life. The Old McKinley School at Napa and Riverside is under new ownership and builders are working on some big plans.
The building is now owned by School Yard Billy LLC. Owners say there aren't any concrete plans for the building, but they have some big ideas for a new multi-use space. There is certainly no shortage of possibilities for the building.
"We think that having a mix of uses would be really wonderful," said Steve Dewalt, who is involved in the development. "If maybe we have a brewery here and maybe some food options on site. Possibly office use."
The school was built in 1902 and was only one-third of the size it is now. But, shortly after it was built, there was more demand for Elementary school space and the building grew to what it is today.
The building is also made up of several different architectural styles, from classrooms with giant ceilings and large windows, to a basement made up of brick and cement.
"I think that's kind of fun, having a building speaking to you in different ways and telling you what uses are going to be best for it," said Dewalt.
The building has had several uses after the school district sold it, including most recently a set for the TV show "Z Nation." Now, developers say they're hoping to give the building new life while keeping the character of the school intact.
"We'll have to find parts of these classrooms, some of the trim, some of the chalkboard, some of these elements that tell you 'this was a classroom, this was its history,' but updating it for modern use," Dewalt said.
They also hope the development of the school will encourage other builders to take on new projects in the area.
Developers say there is also no timeline for the project. They say it could take at least another year or two, if not more, depending on what businesses are interested in the space.
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