STA to spend $4.7M to remodel downtown plaza

STA to spend $4.7M to remodel downtown plaza

SPOKANE, Wash. - The STA board votes last week to spend $4.7 Million to renovate the STA Plaza in downtown Spokane, with taxpayers picking up the tab.

Spokane Transit admits the plaza has a lot of empty space, but STA hopes to remodel it to make it more inviting to more people, not just those who ride the bus.

"It just doesn't look good from the outside in, it's just not really presentable," STA commuter Dorothy Butler said.

STA CEO E. Susan Meyer admits the plaza, built in the 1990s, never lived up to its original vision.

"The community didn't come into the building, it was only for transit riders, so we had this very large unproductive beautiful building," Meyer said.

The remodel would change that by moving all STA functions downstairs, add four retail spaces and build bathrooms on the first floor.

"Our goal is to make it functional, both for our transit riders and for the community," meyer said.

Additionally the waterfall will be removed and the escalators relocated.

"Moving the escalators has the function of creating a much more open space so security will be able to see everyone easily," Meyer explained.

STA set aside money for the project in 2008 but then the recession hit and the project was put on hold. But is the $4.7 Million pricetag too much for taxpayers in 2014?

"No I don't think so, not in this current day in age," STA commuter Curt Cameron said.

"I don't really think it's a waste of money, I actually think it's going to something where more people would feel comfortable at," Butler said.

Construction will start on the first floor next May and last 15 months with an expected completion date forecast for September 2016.