Newspaper Archive of
Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
April 2, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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April 2, 2015

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~ , . i~ , Page 2 Free Press., April 2, 2015 Building C By JOHN McCALLUM Editor When it comes to selling the Cheney School Dis- trict's surplused administration building, the district's school board members likely hope there's truth to the saying "Third time's a charm." For the third time in a year and two-thirds the district has a purchase offer for the Fisher Building, which began life in 1929 as Cheney High School. The board agreed to a proposed agreement at its March 25 meeting with local developers Rob Brewster and Ron Wells to sell the building for $949,500, which is 90 percent of the b ilding/s assessed value. Brewster and Wells have formed a limited liability company (LLC) to purchase the Fisher Building un- der the name Collegetown Development. Wells has extensive historical rehabilitation work throtlgh his company Wells and Company, which according to its website, has completed 46 projects in the Northwest valued at more than $69.5 million since 1980. Brewster has also done historical preservation nt work, teaming recently with Collegetown Develop- ment LLC's financial backer Holland America Lines on a project in Seattle's Pioneer Square. Brewster also partnered with Eastern Washington University to build Brewster Hall a university residence hall on Second Street in downtown Cheney. Both Brewster and Wells said their assessment of the best possible use for a rehabilitated Fisher Build- ing would be for student housing, complimenting its location across Fifth Street from Eastern's Showalter Hall and near other student housing facilities. The developers will undertake a 90-day feasibility study period to determine their best options should they decide to finalize the purchase. "We want to make sure what we purchased is what we thought it was," Brewster said. Brewster said an initial walk through indicated the building was in pretty good shape. If the pur- chase goes through, one of the first things on their "to-do list" would be to get the building listed on the national historic registry to not only help preserve ntinue Medical the building's historic nature but also qualify Col- legetown Development for historical preservation federal tax credits needed to keep the project finan- cially feasible. School board Director Rick Mount questioned Brewster about his previous involvement with con- . struction in Cheney, namely Brewster Hall and the undeveloped lot north of the residence hall he labeled an "eyesore." Brewster said the lot was never part of the original project, but could have been the site of a 117-unit second phase. When the project's proponent at Eastern, former president Dr. Stephen Jordan, left in 2005, the project was put on hold. Brewster has since sold the property, and Cheney City Administrator Mark Schuller told the school board that they had contacted the current owners to ask them to either clean up the property or be prepared for the city to do so and send them a bill for the work. John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress. com. tradition ( l By AL STOVER ond session, from January to March, has Staff Reporter seventh and eighth graders. After most Medical Lake Middle Ryan said groups are comprised of School students have left school for new players and those with experience. the day, several of their classmates sit "I take all students of aU experience and quietly in a classroom, hovering over I will work more with the ones with lesser a chessboard and waiting for their experience," Ryan said. "I have a couple opponent's move. players who have been a part of the dub The Medical Lake Middle School for several years. This year's sixth-grade Chess Club had its final meeting, March group had some beginners as well as some 30, with a mini-tournament where stu- serious players in the eighth-grade." dents showed off'the skills they learned Jicharri O'Neall is one of the seventh- in the last couple of months, graders in the club. O'Neall, who has Paul Ryan, a parent volunteer andplayed chess before, joined because of the club's adviser started a chess club his friends Victor and Vincent Long. at the elementary school where his son "It's fun, it's a way to hang out with Jeremy was a student. He later brought everyone after school " O'Neall said the club to the middle school where it's after he won his second match in the stayed ever since. Ryan has been play- tournament in just two moves. ing since he was a child. Chloe Haynes, an eighth-grader "My father swears he taught me who did not have much experience when I was 4 or 5," Ryan said. "By playing chess when she first joined the the time I was 12, he couldn't beat me. Club, has enjoyed learning the game in I was inspired to create a chess club these last couple of months. in school because I thought it was a "I liked learning the different move- shame the school didn't have a chess ment of the pieces and coming up with club." different s ategies," Haynes said. Like his father did for him, RyanOne thing Ryan has noticed over the taught his four children to play chess, years with teaching chess to his children He coaches two sessions each year for- and students is the correlation between eight weeks at a time. The first session, the game and mathematics. which goes from December to January, "If you play chess at an early age, is comprised of sixth graders. The sec- it can improve your math skills," Ryan Photo by A1 Stover Chloe Haynes (right) makes her move during her chess match with Victor Long. said. "It's also a good social skill and you'll have two players at a regular helps with academics, half of the club chess board and there will be a corre- has a music background. It's a correla- sponding life-size board," Ryan said. tion of all those skills." "At the corresponding chess board, Ryan said he plans to bring the club people will be dressed up as ches back next year. He also organizes a chess pieces who.will mimic the moves of the tournament in May where students and players. It's a lot of fun." communitymemberscanplay. AI Stover can be reached at "It the finals of the tournament al@chene Pacific Northwest FIRST Robotics Competition Championships returns to EWU By PAUL DELANEY year's challenge, Recycle Rush, ing the big ball around and the cial word mcLrphed to combine these competitors advance be- Staff Reporter is proving to be very unique." robots were really doing a lot competition and cooperation yond robotics and into the next Thejump shots, jams, spikesThis year the robots are of battling it out, there's none with the other teams, phase of their lives, either into and digs are done for the sea- different than in 2014 in that of that (in) this year's game," "If the two sides can stack the workforce or continuing son at Reese Court. they are taller in order to bet- Garraway said. up totes in the middle, each their education - whether it's But the competition heats ter accomplish to goal of theThe robots will move rect- team gets bonus points for that a four year university or a com- up in a different way this competition, McCallum ex- angular boxes as their main which will help them in the munity college) they know how weekend at Eastern Washing-plained. FIRST Robotics is a goal, piling them one on top long term," Garraway get along with each other," ton University's basketballsport of science, technology of the other, six high. But in "I would say that visually, McCallum said. "They're life and volleyball arena with and teamwork and seeks to keeping with the environmen- this is a competition this year skills," no matter where they the Pacific Northwest FIRSTmake the disciplines of Science, tally friendly recycling theme, I think is very entertaining come from. Robotics Competition Cham- Technology, Engineering androbots will also be required to for the audience to observe," Garraway admitted he's a pionships. Mathematics, or STEM, "cool" pick up litter, in this case the McCallum said. "Because you mathematician first and not More than 1,200 high schoolfor students, so-called "noodles," the long can see how the robots areinclined towards building the students across Oregon and "We are exciting young peo-foam devices used in swim-performing." machines thatwillcompete Over Washington will compete in ple one person at a time," McCal- ming pools for floatation.Previously, robots would the weekend, "I have no idea teams for titles and the ability lum said. "And we doit through Competition will featurejust throw or toss things. That what the students are doing, but to move on to national competi- the shiny object, the robot." three robots on each side com- took away from how the ma-it's everything that goes with tion later this month in St. Louis, The focus this year is to make peting against one another, but chines were designed. "This it that makes me so enthralled Mo. - and vie for their share of the robots more functional, do- doing so in their own side of year you can really see the cre- with the whole thing." $25 million in scholarships, ing things more likely to take the court, building tote towers ativity," McCallum said. The event is free to the pub- "Every team, the innova- place in the workplace, EWUand cleaning up the noodles. Practice starts Thursday (to- lic and will be the first Pacific tion, the creativity, the unique- associate professor ofmathemat- But as well as competingday) with competition starting Northwest championship held ness is fascinating," Erin Mc- ics, Dale Garraway explained, against one another, there's a early that afternoon and going in the Greater Spokane region. Callum, president of Washing- "If you remember last year's bonus for teamwork. A termthrough Saturday. Paul Delaney can be reached at ton FIRST Robotics, said. "This game where they were throw-called "coopertition," is a spe- "The end result is when Specialty Asphalt'honors Cheney High School Senior, Keith Emert Academic Student of the Week r i Congratulations #ii! Medical Lake High School Semor, Anmka Gahan Academic Student of the Week II FAX 509-235-6232509"235"2222 II at Medical Lake II _~ 16715 S. Cheney/Spokane Road II '~ m~m ~'~ ~'~ City Hall Chambers II Cheney, WA 99004 II '~ SPECIACO33LQ Email: