The Wenatchee School District is looking at the future use of Columbia Elementaery School, which was permanently shut down last month to help fill a budget hole. 

Superintendent Kory Kalahar says there's no definitive plan moving forward, and the building space will not be occupied this fall. 

"Some of the reasoning behind that is time is necessary to really understand the most appropriately and economically viable program for the Columbia facility," said Kalahar. 

The district has set a goal of having formal use for the Columbia Elementary building by the start of the 2025-26 school year. 

The district closed the school to help secure $8.9 million in savings to deal with the budget shortfall. 

Kalahar told the school board at its Tuesday night meeting that the tight timeline to close Columbia Elementary at the end of this past school year did not leave enough time to make changes to move any department or system into the building. 

He said they're working with maintenance and operational staff to make sure the facility is maintained during its downtime. 

The building will still be used in the interim for district training and will be available as short-term school office space. 

The long-term goals for the Columbia Elementary building include using the facility for school district programs, remaining a community asset and helping to grow enrollment within the district, according to Kalahar. 

He told the school board they would try to find a way to use the Columbia building to boost enrollment. 

The building will also be available as a meeting space for community and nonprofit groups. Board member Maria Iñiguez told KPQ the indoor gym at Columbia has been serving an ongoing purpose.

"We have a lot of rentals for the gym in regard to youth basketball or just sports organizations," said Iñiguez. "Those facilities will still be available for rental and access to the community." 

During Tuesday's meeting, Kalahar went through a list of things they're pledging to not let happen to the building. 

He said it will not be used as a homeless shelter, will not be abandoned or boarded up, will not be sold, will not be left unmaintained, will not be an eyesore and will not be forgotten. 

Kalahar said the district's long-range facilities committee was concerned over the cost of maintaining the facility and it not being currently used for any district program. 

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