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School Board Follows Up On Assisted Living Complex

At April 20 meeting

A proposed assisted living complex sited on White Salmon Valley School District property will be the subject of a follow-up report during the local board of education's April 20 business meeting.

Last Aug. 18, representatives of the The Dalles-based Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation--Klickitat County Commissioner David Sauter, president of CCHC's board of directors, and Ruby Mason, executive director of CCHC--appeared before the school board and gave a presentation "regarding the need for assisted living in the White Salmon area," according to the minutes of the meeting.

Sauter and Mason, the minutes said, inquired about the availability of "space or land with either purchase or lease agreements."

The entry concluded, "The board agreed to entertain thoughts for future needs with no commitment at this time."

To date the school board has not received a formal proposal from the housing corporation, Dr. Jerry Lewis, superintendent of White Salmon Valley Schools, said Tuesday.

One of the sites being considered for the assisted living facility, however, is a portion of the four-acre Jewett Sports Complex--home of the community's four Little League fields--which is bounded by O'Keefe Street on the west, Center on the south, Orchard on the east and Tohomish on the north.

The property consists of six lots, according to Dr. Jerry Lewis, superintendent of White Salmon Valley Schools, and "was deeded to the school district in 1925 (by the Jewett family) with the understanding the district could use property lots 1-5, plus No. 6, with no limitations," he said Tuesday in an e-mail.

Since that initial approach by the housing corporation, Lewis said, "the district has investigated what it would cost to relocate the ballfields if such a project moved forward."

He added, "The architect assisting the Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation has worked on a project design to see if a portion of the Jewett property might be feasible, and if the project would be cost-effective."

Next Wednesday's school board meeting will take place in the Hulan L. Whitson Elementary School library, starting at 7 p.m.

During the meeting, Lewis said he will share information with the board of directors about the process the district would have to follow "if such a project was to move forward."

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