First the field, now the building: Genesee Hill School fence plan

The vacant former Genesee Hill Elementary is being besieged by vandals, says Seattle Public Schools, so now they’re going to put up even more fencing. Four weeks ago, we reported on a new locked gate along SW Genesee, which was mostly aimed at vandals, according to the district, but now it seems that’s not enough. Tom Redman from the SPS Capital Projects and Planning department tells WSB the district is “going to fence off the Genesee Hill building with temporary fencing in the near future. There has been increasing vandalism and graffiti plus another break-in last week. Crews will fence off the building, but it will not affect the garden use or the field use (use of the field as a dog park is still not allowed).” Right now, it doesn’t seem likely the Genesee Hill building will ever reopen; in the district’s BEX IV levy planning, it’s mostly under discussion as a future site for an elementary to replace Schmitz Park.

22 Replies to "First the field, now the building: Genesee Hill School fence plan"

  • shihtzu April 12, 2012 (3:18 pm)

    I saw teenagers on the roof last weekend. Somehow I don’t think a fence is going to stop them.

  • Wessider April 12, 2012 (3:34 pm)

    It was probably on the blog here, but there was ton of cop cars and they arrested a couple kids here just last weekend.

    Agree, the fence isn’t going to do anything but make the place look more ghetto.

    I’m not a dog owner (and found it irritating when people’s off leash dogs would run off with the baseball when my son and I play down there) but prohibiting them from the field was just stupid if the problem is vandalism. Have more public eyes on the place rather than less helps, right? At this point they should razz the whole compound and leave some fields till there is a school to be built there again. They aren’t going to use those dilapidated old structures.

    • WSB April 12, 2012 (3:48 pm)

      Nope, we didn’t hear about that. (Call or text any time you see something happening, if you can – 206-293-6302 – even if we’re listening to the scanner, not everything winds up on there, or gets covered over by a call on another channel …)

  • Trying! April 12, 2012 (3:54 pm)

    They’ll love that! Now they’ll be able to hangout inside the fencing and they won’t be disturbed by neighbors. I take a walk around the school, frequently, to check on things and make sure nothing is out of place or vandalized. Many of us do this. Not anymore.

  • Wet April 12, 2012 (4:03 pm)

    Yep last weekend about 4 police cars and that many teenagers in the cars. When I walked by they were going in to see if there were more kids.

  • CJ April 12, 2012 (4:22 pm)

    I wish they would do something more long term. I live a block from the school and it’s looking worse and worse each day. Now I have to look at a big fence like a prison yard? smh I see kids skateboarding on the roof sometimes too, but I’ve never called the police; I didn’t know they were vandalizing it and breaking in. I’ll call next time. I was out last weekend, maybe that’s why I didn’t see the police presence there??

    Thanks WSB for keeping us in the loop!

  • AM April 12, 2012 (4:55 pm)

    I’ll admit, I was one of the “dog park people” but I would walk — like many others with my dog(s) on the entrance of Genesse & Dakota.

    There were many times that kids on foot or bikes would scurry out because they didn’t want to get caught doing whatever it is they’re doing.

    So let’s solve the problem by FENCING THEM IN?!? Seriously?

    For a dog park that “really wasn’t” it was kept super clean and respected.

    What’s wrong with installing some lights? Get ride of the frickin’ portables for one.

    So irritating.

  • Danny April 12, 2012 (4:56 pm)

    And what will become of Schmitz Park Elementary?

  • Doggie Downer April 12, 2012 (6:50 pm)

    Don’t worry about the vermin punks. Vermin punks are everywhere. Just like irresponsible dog owners. Though, in this neck of the woods, I see way more of the latter.

    Stop rationalizing you wannabe trespassing dog owners. Genesee School IS NOT an off-leash dog park. Please, shut-xx.

    Thank you and god bless.

  • norsk girl April 12, 2012 (7:29 pm)

    Drug activity routinely happens there (on 51st, in the N end, on the roof)…selling/buying/smoking. How will a fence prevent this, I wonder.

  • Doggie Downer April 12, 2012 (8:03 pm)


    Maybe the kids would scurry out because they didn’t want to get caught doing what you were doing. Trespassing. Ya’ think?

    I’m all for installing lights. You and the dog owners and punk rockin’ teens can perhaps join forces and pay for them, perhaps?

  • Krm66 April 12, 2012 (8:28 pm)

    Doggie Downer sure seems to live up to their name. “punk rockin’ teens”? Hmmmm

  • joan bateman April 12, 2012 (10:16 pm)

    Lesser of two evils, dog walkers. They pick up the dog droppings, and keep illegal activities from happening.

    Can’t argue with that. I’m sure the police would love it if the neighborhood could keep the school protected with its presence. Do you think it might be cheaper in the long run that making continued repairs to the building?


  • Trying! April 13, 2012 (7:45 am)

    This should push some neighbors over the edge ;-/ Many people were already upset about the abrupt and nasty dog signs and locks. Wait until they see the fences going up. I assume they will have to put barbed wire on the roofs to stop kids from dropping down? I don’t know what can be done. Although the school is considered a public place the neighbors are never consulted about any of this. Now this is the schools system’s solution as far as I can tell?

  • operator April 13, 2012 (8:21 am)

    On 51st there is a foreign exchange student who has been mugged and ruffed up twice by kids hanging out at that school, stealing his phone. I’m with those who think a fence won’t deter criminal activity, it will reduce the amount of dogs at the park I’m sure but that’s not the problem.
    @Doggie Downer-sounds like you never got a valentines card in your life, hope someone is brave enough to give you a hug someday and show you a little love

  • Sunny April 13, 2012 (9:09 am)

    I just think it’s funny now that they have put locks on the fence, hence less “doggie owners” visiting, the situation has gotten worse. Good work!

  • datamuse April 13, 2012 (1:17 pm)

    They pick up the dog droppings, and keep illegal activities from happening.
    If that’s true, why do so many of them refuse to go to Westcrest, which actually IS a dog park, for fear of criminal activity?

  • Jiggers April 14, 2012 (1:20 pm)

    Good place for homeless people to crash.

  • Homeless in West Seattle April 14, 2012 (6:22 pm)

    Yeah. Good place for homeless people. I agree.

    Snickersville, Part 2: The Genesee Hill Story.


    Please bring sawdust, old wood pallets, old barrels, and a whole lot of plastic.

    Join the off-leash dog owners for a potluck at Genesee Elementary. It is OK. It is Seattle School District land that is not currently being used.


  • diane April 14, 2012 (9:45 pm)

    Kids always put a hole through fences and get into where they shouldn’t be thus making it harder for people to keep an eye on things and police to get in quickly and flush these teens out. A fence will only invite more of these kids to come and hide out! The building needs to be used as a community gathering place or rebuilt pronto!

  • Cam April 14, 2012 (10:07 pm)

    Yes- I am one of the guilty off leash users. I own a high energy dog who needs more than the walk I can provide. We loved getting to know our neighbors and our community while at the park. It’s funny to me that since the gates went up for the field that more graffiti and vandalism has occurred on the school. Keep the gates open, let the community use the field and let the doggies chase off the crazy teens!

  • Operator April 15, 2012 (11:51 am)

    Agree Cam, if you go to the play field like I did with my kids yesterday there is new graffiti that is all anti-cop, lots of vulgar words, and thats in the play field, not on the buildings. An empty school is inviting to these kids. While off leash is not allowed, it still deters more than a chain and lock. It’s bad enough that the playground on the upper lot has broken glass all over the place, but since the community garden began I’ve seen less beer cans and glass in that area.

Sorry, comment time is over.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann