Snoqualmie Valley Record


Hospital district considering 50-year lease for high-school skills center on Ridge

April 4, 2013 · 10:51 AM

Snoqualmie Valley Hospital commissioners meeting tonight in Carnation will consider approval of a long-term lease of part of their new Snoqualmie Ridge campus as a training center for high school students exploring health care careers.

A partnership between the hospital and the Washington Network for Innovative Careers (WaNIC), will create a WaNIC Skills Center, or branch campus, on the site of the future Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, and will draw students from about 10 school districts.

Under the agreement, the Lake Washington School District would lease the land on behalf of WaNIC for a nominal fee, $1 a year.

The proposed skills center would have 5,000 square feet of instructional space and shared facilities and equipment with the hospital. It could open as early as September 2014.

Lake Washington School District will build the building; The hospital district will maintain it and provide utilities.

According to the draft agreement, the $1-a-year-rate is balanced by the school district's commitment of $1.6 million for design, construction and equipment.

WaNIC Director Pam Darling and Hospital Administrator Rodger McCollum reported on the partnership at the February 28 meeting of the Snoqualmie Valley School Board, adding that they hoped to open the branch campus by the fall of 2014.

Darling told the school board that the proposed partnership would attract at least one student from every participating WaNIC district, since students won't be able to find these classes in many other places. Snoqualmie Valley is one of seven school districts in the WaNIC partnership, along with Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Northshore and Riverview. Darling added that the Tahoma and Kent school districts have already expressed interest in sending students to this skills center through interlocal agreements.

Class sizes will be capped at 24 students each, and most will last for two or three class periods, to justify the travel times some students will have.

Funding for the skills center will come in part from a $1.75 million grant that WaNIC received from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

At that February meeting, Darling relayed future growth plans that included a partnership with Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and colleges, study of therapy careers through Lake Washington Technical College, radiology at Bellevue College, and pharmacy tech at Renton Technical College.

Snoqualmie Valley Hospital commissioners meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the Sno Valley Senior Center in Carnation.

Approval of the lease and interlocal agreements are slated for action as part of tonight's agenda.

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