Cheney Free Press -



Cheney school board OKs public hearing on Fisher Building

March 26 meeting at Salnave to discuss prospective buyer


Cheney School District’s board of directors voted unanimously at their March 12 meeting to hold a public hearing March 26 to discuss an offer to purchase the district’s former administration building.

NAI Black Realtor Mitch Swenson told the board an offer had been made on the Fisher Building, which began life as the district’s high school in 1929, for $950,000 cash, contingent upon financing. The amount is within the state requirement of 90 percent of the appraised value of $1,055,000.

Swenson would not name the individual wishing to purchase the building, but listed several strong Cheney ties and that he was looking at possibly using the building as student housing. The Fisher Building is across Fifth Street from Eastern Washington University’s Showalter Hall.

“He’s a very capable gentleman,” Swenson said.

The public hearing will be conducted as part of the school board’s regular monthly meeting, which will be held at Salnave Elementary School.

The school board also held final reads and passage of four policy items. The board approved policy No. 1000 delineating the powers, duties and responsibilities of the board and No. 1111 regarding the oath of office.

The board rescinded policy No. 1250 “Duties of the Secretary” and approved No. 6220 that made changes to the district’s bid requirements. The board also held its first reading of policy No. 1105 that describes under what circumstances internal director districts are redrawn and the process to do so.

The board passed a resolution honoring classified staff member Mike Raftis, who serves as a computer field technician in the Information Technology Department and is president of the Public School Employees of Cheney.

The board unanimously agreed to a recommendation by director Suzanne Dolle that individual directors sponsor the West Plains chapter of the PACE program. PACE — Partners Advocating Character Education — is a local grassroots initiative to promote good character by partnering with individuals, businesses, community groups and organizations. Sponsorship is $250.

In information items, the board received an update from district K-12 arts coordinator and high school music teacher Harlan Henderson on implementation of the music adoption program. Henderson said the district’s strings program would be implemented for seventh- and eighth-graders next year, having been done so last year at the fifth-grade level and this year in sixth-grade.

Henderson said program funding has helped pay for some new instruments and repairs to others, and workshops to help instructors implement technology in the classroom. He added the strings and bands classes from Sunset, Windsor and Snowdon are holding a combined concert April 30 — one of the goals of the adoption program.

The board also received a report from Westwood Middle School students Kiearra O’Neal, Isabella Hemming and Madison Butler along with advisor Dan Estock on participation at a recent Science Olympiad competition.

Science Olympiad is one of three new clubs at the school this year, with 15 students competing in 23 events that were “intense” with “high standards” for knowing, using and understanding science skills and content.

“It was a pleasure to see them rise to the occasion and take on the challenge,” Estock said.

John McCallum can be reached at


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