Final draft before school-levy vote: Arbor Heights Elementary rebuild ‘earlier if feasible’

November 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 8 Comments

If you are interested in speaking at this Wednesday’s School Board meeting, before board members’ final vote on the project list for the BEX IV levy that goes to voters in February, you need to call or e-mail starting at 8 am tomorrow (as explained here). The agenda is available online now, and it contains the final levy draft, pending any amendments proposed Wednesday. Here’s what’s in that draft (see the list here) for West Seattle:

*Expanded/renovated Fairmount Park Elementary to open 2014

*Rebuilt Schmitz Park Elementary at Genesee Hill site to open 2015

*Rebuilt Arbor Heights Elementary to open 2018, with the added language “or earlier if feasible” (district officials have said they could explore alternative financing, but not until after the levy passes)

*Roof work at Gatewood Elementary

*Earthquake-safety work at Alki, Gatewood, Lafayette, Roxhill Elementaries

The levy would collect almost $695 million over six years, as noted in the full text (which you can read here). Tuesday’s agenda also includes the proposed final vote on the $550 million operations levy that would go to voters in the same election next February (resolution text here). Here’s the full agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting, which starts at 4:15 pm – with public comment at 5 – at district HQ in SODO.

8 Comments

  1. I wish the district would stop the secrecy – what is going on with Fairmount? STEM or neighborhood school?! It should be a neighborhood school because all of them are overflowing. STEM should have never happened in the first place. Neighborhood schools are what we need. I am still voting no on BEX and will encourage everyone I know to do the same. SPS can’t be trusted.

    Comment by E — 9:27 pm November 4, 2012 #

  2. What will happen to the Schmitz Park site? Is the district going to give up that beautiful site. I will not vote for this plan until I know what they are doing with that site.

    Comment by Star 55 — 9:52 pm November 4, 2012 #

  3. They haven’t said. As we have reported a couple times in recent weeks, the Schmitz family has expressed their strong desire that the site, which they donated decades ago, be kept in operation as a school – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:10 pm November 4, 2012 #

  4. I can’t believe they’re going to move Schmitz Park Elementary away from Schmitz Park. Why can’t they just rebuild it where it is right now and move it to Genesee temporarily? I graduated from Sealth in 2010 and it’s a horrible feeling to think my old elementary won’t be where it should be. The fact that the school is right next to the park allowed us to take frequent class trips into the park which I still remember. It just doesn’t feel right…

    Comment by Nick — 3:57 am November 5, 2012 #

  5. Voting no out of anger at the district is not going to help our schools improve (trust me, I am mad, too). Yes, poor decisions have been made, but the sorry condition of our schools and the crazy overcrowding are not going to be improved if Bex IV is rejected. We will only be punishing ourselves and our kids if we reject this. It will be ugly for all of us. STEM is helping to alleviate overcrowding at some schools. Can you imagine the outcry if boundaries had been forced to be changed at the start of this school year (at the last minute?) STEM was a faster solution to help with the overcrowding problem. Another option school for all west seattle kids was wanted and needed on the peninsula. Clearly another solution needs to be implemented in the north end of the peninsula (redrawing boundaries and more room in neighborhood schools)). Creating a level playing field with regard to math curriculums would help. Keeping Schmitz Park open as a neighborhood school or new site for stem in addition to Fairmount Park would also help. We need to push hard at the district to make these changes as soon as possible. None of these changes will happen without Bex IV. It will be ugly.

    Comment by kayo — 6:16 am November 5, 2012 #

  6. I still say 1) it’s “interesting” that AFTER the election (and a charter school vote) the district will release it’s plan for the levy. And 2) I bet there are two plans done, one if the charter passes and one if it doesn’t.

    Comment by AH Parent — 6:50 am November 5, 2012 #

  7. Regardless of whether you think that K-5 STEM should have never happened, please consider that it did and that there are nearly 300 children attending K-5 STEM. This discussion pains and affects real people, your neighbors and friends. We are no longer an idea, but a community devoted to education. We have some bumps in the road as a new school, but we have an amazing community of devoted parents and educators who have come together under less than ideal circumstances. The only thing that should not have happened is the lack of planning for our future. K-5 STEM is fast on it’s way to becoming a model school that will benefit all of our neighboring schools for better programs, so before you anonymously say we should not have happened, come talk to us. I am confident that no one who has personally observed the momentum and positive energy would say we should not have happened.

    Comment by Heidi A — 10:19 pm November 5, 2012 #

  8. I don’t care what you say, I will still vote no on BEX. And yes, I have a child in SPS. I also thinks its very strange that we don’t vote on this today.

    Comment by E — 7:00 am November 6, 2012 #

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