On Wednesday the state Senate released a $3.9 billion bipartisan capital-budget proposal for 2015-17 that would build more than 2,100 classrooms, fully fund 80 parks and trails, and devote $60 million to local-government infrastructure projects statewide.
Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, secured funding in the Senate capital-budget proposal for construction projects throughout the 4th Legislative District, including $1.1 million for the third and final phase of the Spokane Valley Tech addition. When completed, Spokane Valley Tech will serve more than 500 students in 10 high-demand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
“4th District taxpayers send a lot of their money to Olympia,” Padden said. “This budget brings money back home to help fund important projects in our community, as well as create and preserve jobs.”
Spokane Valley Tech offers high-school students an opportunity to gain technical skills and experience in growing industries with a focus on career and college readiness. It is a collaborative effort by Central Valley, East Valley, Freeman and West Valley School Districts serving students in the Spokane Valley and greater Spokane region, including home-schooled and private-school students. Its third phase of development will include a large central area within the facility for students, teachers and mentors to collaborate.
“The Spokane Valley Tech addition will help provide an area to train our next generation of workers for the unfilled STEM-related jobs here in the Spokane Valley and the rest of Washington,” said Padden, who serves on the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “This project has been one of the top priorities for our district and for our employers who are looking for the well-trained talent Spokane Valley Tech will produce.”
Padden is also pleased to see that the budget includes $813,000 for the next phase of the Appleway Trail development. Located just south of Sprague Avenue, along the former Milwaukie Railroad right-of-way, the development creates a green space and trail where walkers, bicyclists, strollers, joggers and others can enjoy the outdoors away from busy traffic.
The trail, when completed, will connect the areas to the east with the Spokane Transit Authority Center at University and Appleway, with a paved trail – linking business and residential areas.
The capital-budget proposal also contains additional funding for other projects in the 4th District, including:
- Minor Works Preservation ($730,000);
- Roof repairs in the Spokane Community College system ($85,000);
- Mount Spokane road improvements ($2,400,000); and
- Natural-resources investments ($4,000,000).
The Senate’s capital budget is in the form of new language to replace what is in the House’s capital budget – Engrossed House Bill 1115. The bill is scheduled to be voted on in the Ways and Means Committee today, and is expected to be passed by the full Senate and then sent back to the House for its consideration.