History and Renovations
The Little Spokane School District #41 was established on July 18, 1891. The largest enrollment for this District was approximately seventeen students. From this humble beginning the Nine Mile Falls School District has grown to a current enrollment of approximately 1,360 (FTE) students. The District was actually formed by the combining of nine school districts. Today the Nine Mile Falls School District follows both sides of the Spokane River (in both Spokane and Stevens Counties) for approximately 30 meandering miles from Seven Mile Road on its southern boundary to Scoop Mountain on the northern edge. The District covers 71 square miles, and at its widest spot, spans 8.5 miles east to west from Wallbridge Road to Richey Road, serving students in two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.
Nine Mile Falls Elementary School was the original school in the District with a K-8 enrollment of 60 students in 1960. The original school was demolished and additions were made in 1966, 1975, and 1981. A separate gymnasium was constructed in 1977. The 1966 portion of the building was modernized in 1994. In 2007, the voters of the District approved a $12,435,000 bond issue to modernize and provide additions to the District’s two elementary schools. Additionally, the State contributed over $6,000,000 in matching construction funds for these projects. Construction began in September 2008 and was completed in the fall of 2009. Improvements included the updating of all facilities, the paving of the parking lots, and complete landscaping of the grounds. A 3,500 square-foot addition was constructed, which connected the main school and the previously detached gymnasium. Multimedia systems were added to each classroom to improve instruction. All reportable asbestos was removed from the building during this construction process. Safety improvements were paramount including the addition of a fire suppression system. New systems were also added for building access. Use of the existing well for domestic use was abandoned, and a link to a public water system was made. This new water system included the addition of a water tower to aid in fire suppression. The old well is only used for irrigation purposes.
Lake Spokane Elementary School opened in the fall of 1977 with five classrooms, a library, and a multipurpose room. In 1980, ten attached, portable classrooms were added to accommodate growth in the area. In 1984, an office and four additional classrooms were added followed by eight more classrooms in 1995; a separate gymnasium was also constructed in 1995. The aforementioned $18,000,000 construction project (2007) allowed the District to completely modernize the permanent facilities, replace the ten portables with sixteen newly constructed classrooms and to connect the gym with the rest of the facility creating one complete unit. The library, gymnasium, special services and office areas were completely reorganized, expanded, and modernized. Multimedia systems were added to each classroom for improved instruction. New systems were also added for building access. Newly landscaped areas, driveways, and parking areas were updated as well. The safety of the school was enhanced by the redesign of the school into a continuous layout with improvement to access control and the addition of an enclosed courtyard for use with our early learning students. The outside play areas were revised and upgraded with flexibility in mind. All reportable asbestos was removed from the building. The building components were substantially completed in time for the opening of the 2009-2010 school year, and the playground improvements were completed by the start of the year as well.
Lakeside Middle School opened its doors for students in September, 1998. Prior to this time, middle school students were housed at Lakeside High School. The building contains classrooms in wings for each grade level as well as a full-sized gymnasium, an auditorium, and a cafeteria. The building can accommodate 540 students in grades six through eight. The thirty-acre site includes athletic fields: baseball, softball, soccer, football, and track. In 2018, the voters of the District approved a $3.4 million capital levy to address the failing HVAC and roofing system at the middle school along with other safety- related concerns. The project began just after students exited for the summer, and the bulk of improvements and replacements were completed by the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Additional improvements included: an enhanced camera and security system; a new intercom system, and improved parking lot lights.
Lakeside High School opened for students in grades 7-12 in September of 1990 and celebrated its first graduation with the class of 1993. Since that time, upgrades have been made to flooring, HVAC, camera security, and the student parking lot as well as other improvements. The building poses educational and safety concerns due to the layout and accessibility. One of the educational concerns was addressed in 2016 when the District received a STEM Facility Grant in the amount of $1.2 million. This grant provided the opportunity to have a portable science lab (two classrooms) built next to the other portable building.
Improvements to facilities are ongoing. The maintenance and custodial staff work each year to keep the schools clean, safe, and attractive for all stakeholders and constituents. Our instructional, support, and administrative staff continuously work to provide quality educational and extracurricular programs to improve the opportunities for the “whole child”. The District has also been the beneficiary of great partnerships that have helped to enhance the facilities. We are grateful to our business and community partners who continue to provide support and services for our students, staff, and schools.
Nine Mile Falls is truly a great place to raise children.
Come and visit us anytime!