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Couple interested in school purchase


A Grand Coulee couple has indicated an interest in purchasing Center School and its property.

Mervin and MaryJo Monteith, who represent the North American Wool Cooperative, told Grand Coulee city officials last week that they will seek a rezone of the Center School property so they can purchase it for a fiber mill and education center.

The Monteiths have an alpaca operation in Lincoln County and also own an airplane parts operation in Grand Coulee that supplies small parts for both commercial and military operations.

The Grand Coulee couple will appear before Grand Couleeā€™s planning commission at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The couple said they see their operation developing in three stages, employing from 10-30 people locally during the first three phases with an eventual employment base of 37-47 jobs.

Their Eco Fiber Mill concept would be non-profit, and the Monteiths will seek some type of zoning where they can have light fiber product manufacturing, taking otherwise wasted wool and fiber from around the county and state and turning it into products that provide society with useful items.

The 8.3 acres of Center School property is currently zoned as R-1, a designation that only allows for low-density, single-family residential use.

Recently, the Grand Coulee Dam School District advertised the building and property for sale, but found no takers.

Superintendent Dennis Carlson said that he provided the couple with a recent tour of the building.

The district will not have to re-advertise the property for sale, Carlson said, and can proceed with a sale as long as the price is acceptable to the school board.

The district purchased the building and property in October 2014 from the Continental Land Company for $155,000 and since has spent $10,000 to get the building and property appraised. That appraisal came in at $190,000.

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