New school at Genesee Hill: Offer your ideas @ meeting tonight

From tonight’s calendar: Reminder from the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council – a community conversation is scheduled tonight with the Design Team for the new school at the closed Genesee Hill site, 6:30-8 pm tonight at Schmitz Park Elementary. Read on for some examples of what they’re looking at, to help inspire your suggestions (and see how to comment even if you can’t go to the meeting):

They really want to hear from the community, and this is your chance to have input at the conceptual stage!

The district is planning a multistory building that will serve from 500 to 650 students and meet district guidelines for elementary schools, but the specifics of what it will look like, what it will contain, and where it will be located on the site are all up for discussion.

To get your creative juices flowing, below are links to the sites of some schools that the design advisory team toured recently; please come to the meeting to share your feedback, or e-mail us at with your comments.

Helen Keller (Lake Washington School District):
(Scroll down to lower images. Aerial photo at top shows both the new and the old buildings, and the old one has since been demolished and a sand athletic field installed.)

Riverview (Snohomish School District):
(Scroll down to see the video on the second link.)

Sherwood Forest (Bellevue School District):

and another that a member of the advisory team shared (but the team did not tour):

Robert Frost Elementary School (Lake Washington School District):

Schmitz Park is at 5000 SW Spokane.

14 Replies to "New school at Genesee Hill: Offer your ideas @ meeting tonight"

  • A November 19, 2012 (1:03 pm)

    So they are really moving SP? WTH? Can they still do it if BEX does not pass?

  • vote yes on BEX November 19, 2012 (2:04 pm)

    The issue is less about whether or not SP moves to Genesee and more about providing enough seats for students in West Seattle North. The only thing that is known for sure is that all these schools are overcrowded now and there are more kids coming. SP will be needed for students as will Genesee Hill. Vote yes on BEX to get our kids and their teachers out of portables and into buildings, it can’t happen without the levy passing.

  • Concerned too November 19, 2012 (2:51 pm)

    If you are concerned about moving SPE from it’s current site, this is the meeting to make your opinion known. Without good community information, a process like this is not as successful.

  • SD45 November 19, 2012 (2:59 pm)

    Absolutely. My entire West Seattle family will vote yes on this levy. All homeowners.

  • A November 19, 2012 (3:04 pm)

    Vote yes – there will still be portables! Trust me. There are portables at NEW Denny/Sealth. Voting no on BEX.

  • JenS November 19, 2012 (4:07 pm)

    I think the goal is not actually complete removal of portables, but rather getting the school to house the majority of the students, rather than about half, which is where it is now at Schmitz. I think having 5-10% of the student population in portables is fine … I have no real problem with portables themselves, as long as the core facilities in the building (restrooms, library, gym, lunchroom, etc.) can support the total number of kids. This is definitely the big problem at Schmitz now (along with the huge traffic pressure on the poor immediate neighborhood!).

    I’m curious about those of you who are voting no … is it because you don’t trust the school district with the money, because you want the school at the current site to still bear the Schmitz name, because you don’t believe there is a huge need for seats? Other reasons? Is there anything we as a parent community can do to help ease your concerns?

  • wsea November 19, 2012 (5:06 pm)

    A couple reasons why some are voting NO:
    1. they have kids in private school
    2. they have kids in schools not being helped by the levy. They would rather vote NO and continue to donate funds to add techology and resources to their schools.
    3. those who have little faith in SPS
    4. I know an arbor heights parent who feels so frustrated (I agree with them) they are giving up on SPS and will vote NO. I think they are moving the kids to Vashon.
    5. there is also the parent who has two siblings in two different schools due to re-districting. The older kids does not want to leave his friends. I don’t think they are happy with SPS.
    6. Me, I’m leaning YES but have not made up my mind. I am frustrated with people using addresses in west Seattle when they live in other places. You would think every other house has kids based on enrollment in schmitz park, lafayette and alki. I usually vote for school levy’s.
    7. Oh yeah. I know one voting NO ever since the charter school thing went through. Not sure why on that reason. Something about funding oversight or reduce funding. Not sure.

  • ahmamaof2 November 19, 2012 (8:04 pm)

    My family is voting yes! If the levy fails then our children and schools lose.

  • BelvidereMom November 19, 2012 (8:09 pm)

    wsea- Every other house *does* have kids. West Seattle is bursting with kids. We need as much capacity as possible.

    As to people voting no on levies. Schools are underfunded. Period. Voting on a levy is not a referendum on the school district’s managerial skills. Even if SPS were superbly managed, they would still be underfunded and require levy money.

    I will say it again: a levy is not a referendum. It is not a vote of “no confidence” on the school district. It is a way to provide for the basic safety and shelter of children (AND STAFF) during school hours. Whether they are your children or not.

  • Moneyball November 19, 2012 (8:15 pm)

    Is it feasible to remodel/add a wing to Schmitz Park? If so, I would have liked to see a proposed BEX option to remodel and add a wing to Schmitz Park while rebuilding Arbor Heights, and then save a new build at Genesee Hill until 2019. Are there valid reasons at the SP site why this isn’t the case? I also have not heard discussion in any of these drafts that Schmitz Park could move to the interim location at Boren while this type of building addition at Schmitz Park happened. Why?

  • Nick November 19, 2012 (8:20 pm)

    If they’re going to have students at both schools, then why not leave the Schmitz Park name where it is and make Genesee the new school???

  • aparent November 19, 2012 (8:52 pm)

    SPS is forgetting that schools with over 500 students become significantly less effective (Gates Foundation). More campuses and smaller schools are the way to go. Open Genessee if needed, but, simply picking up and moving is not going to make the school any better. Finding seats for all the children should not be the only concern here. Let’s not pay for more bad decisions.

  • Trying! November 20, 2012 (7:28 am)

    I believe that what SPS is doing to AH is close to criminal. AH was build on the same lines as Genesee. The Genesee school was closed long ago with many comments on the poor condition of the school. We have yet to hear what the cost will be to build the new, much larger school on the Genesee site. It is looking like it will be a very complex and expensive proposition to build such a large school on such an odd shaped property. What happens to rebuilds further down the line if this turns out to be a rebuild that goes far over budget?

  • Ms. Sparkels November 20, 2012 (10:31 am)

    I have two kids at SP and I’m probably voting no on the levy because I don’t trust SPS with the money.

    It’s sad because I know the state SP is in with overcrowding ect… so if I had any faith in SPS not to piss away / let someone embezzle the bond funds I would absolutely vote yes – but SPS has proven themselves to be untrustworthly or at best unwise with funding and budgeting.

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