New plan to keep the unofficial South Hill dog park at the site of a proposed middle school

click to enlarge All dogs need a park.
All dogs need a park.

The idea to build a new middle school on Spokane's South Hill to alleviate school overcrowding might seem like a reasonable plan to most. But when the idea was presented to some residents, they reacted with horror.

That's because new middle school right next to Mullan Road Elementary would eliminate the unofficial South Hill dog park, residents were told this summer.

Was nobody thinking of the dogs?

But now, the city of Spokane, Spokane Public Schools and an informal "board" for the South Hill dog park have come up with a plan to keep a dog park at the same location. And the school district would still build their new middle school where it wants.

"We worked with them to come up with a creative way to have a dog park on the west end of the city's property," says Mark Anderson, Spokane Public Schools associate superintendent.

In fact, the new dog park would be larger than the current unofficial park, which is maintained by residents. It would include a 0.7-mile walking path. And the plan wouldn't affect the size of the middle school at all.

Of course, this is all contingent on whether or not voters approve a school bond this November. The bond request is for $495 million. It would pay for three new middle schools (including what we'll call the South Hill Dog Park Middle School for now), modernization or replacements of other schools, and the modernization or replacement of Joe Albi Stadium, wherever voters want the stadium to be.

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About The Author

Wilson Criscione

Wilson Criscione, born and raised in Spokane, is an Inlander staff writer covering education and social services in the Inland Northwest.