Spokane Public Schools Board will negotiate proposed stadium with new partnership

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Public Schools Board voted to move toward a partnership with the Spokane Public Facilities District and Spokane Civic Theater and negotiate on the plan to build a new stadium in downtown Spokane.

“I don’t know that we’ll be able to get there with negotiations. You know, part of negotiations is to throw out there what you hope to achieve for your constituents and stakeholders and I think this does that,” said board vice president Mike Wiser.

“There’s going to be stuff that we’re maybe not going to be able to address, but I think that what we have here is getting there as close as possible,” said board member Aryn Ziehnert.

The Spokane Public Schools Board made the decision in a meeting Wednesday night. However, it does not mean that it is done and there are conditions added that everyone needs to agree to.

Before making the vote, amendments were made to the original motion, which everyone voted in favor for except board member Nikki Lockwood.

“We have to do more than just hear the Civic Theatre. We need to not negatively impact them so I’m really concerned about that particularly,” Lockwood said.

This comes after nearly two months of people expressing their desires to bring it downtown, and drawing lots of opposition, too. The discussion was the first time we actually heard thoughts from board members about bringing the stadium downtown, or for building at the current Joe Albi site.

The SPS Board discussed creating a partnership with the Civic Theatre and the Public Facilities District, with the aim of giving the theatre priority parking during scheduled events and solve its noise pollution concerns.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Spokane Public School Board to discuss downtown stadium proposal Wednesday

Amendments

“I think the current proposal is light on specifics,” said board member Jenny Slagle, “and I don’t think the May 5th deadline is unreasonable.”

In the last month, the board has been gathering opinions and figuring out what to do on this controversial proposed stadium.

It’s been a topic of debate since March, when a proposal from the Downtown Spokane Partnership upended the school district’s plan to build a new stadium at the old Joe Albi site.

The Downtown Spokane Partnership argued a downtown stadium could save the school district roughly $17.5 million in maintenance and operations, and would bring a professional soccer team to the area, as well.