The old adage goes something like this: “If something’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
But there’s an unspoken addendum, as well: “Besides, someone else is probably also interested.”
Spokane Valley Fire commissioners learned Monday that the Walker Army Reserve Center, 3830 N. Sullivan Road, will likely soon be in the hands of the East Valley School District – thus removing it from consideration as a potential future administration building for the department.
“(The school district) has already filed the paperwork,” Fire Chief Mike Thompson told the commissioners at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
The Army Reserve center is being shut down in the next two months as part of the federal Base Realignment and Closure process. Three weeks ago, fire commissioners were told that it looked as if there might not be any other interested parties in the structure, and it was possible that the government could possible “gift” the Walker building to the fire department through a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.
Had the fire department been able to secure the 8.8 acres of property, it would have been more than enough room to accommodate much-needed office space and vehicle bays for the expanding agency, which is out-growing its present space on Sprague Avenue across from University City.
East Valley – which is also in need of classroom space and vehicle storage room – informed Spokane Valley Fire officials it had already submitted its request after news reports circulated that fire commissioners were interested in touring the facility. There were no hard feelings, Thompson said, and there was even some discussion about the two organizations sharing the building.
That, however, wouldn’t work for a variety of reasons, Thompson said.
“They (East Valley) were very gracious about it,” he said.
That means Spokane Valley Fire is back on track to building an administration building, which could cost about $3 million, adjacent to Station 8 at 2110 N. Wilbur. That work is expected to take place in 2011.
In other news, the fire commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that will now have the department, in accordance with state law, officially recognize registered domestic partners for insurance purposes.