Tonight’s ceremonial “groundbreaking” for West Seattle’s first charter school, Summit Atlas, happened indoors. That’s where the first phase of work to convert the former church/supermarket site at 9601 35th SW will happen – starting next week, according to Summit officials.
It’s been two years since we broke the news that this school was on the way, after discovering an early-stage plan in city files. Tonight, Summit displayed renderings of how the campus will look once they’ve added Phase II, an addition so there’s eventually room for full sixth through 12th grades:
Right now, they have about 125 applicants, split between the sixth and ninth grades with which Summit Atlas will be launched in August, Summit officials told us tonight. They’re accepting applications through March 10th, with a lottery set for the next day if they have more applicants than spaces (they had told us last summer they expected to launch with about 100 students in each of those two grades). The school’s executive director (principal) is Katie Bubalo:
We introduced you to Bubalo in this story last August, when the school year began at Summit Sierra in the ID, one of the two schools Summit (based in California) has already opened in Western Washington. Summit told us that the changes made to their building there are similar to what they plan here. A Summit Sierra 9th grader, Jayla Foster, spoke at tonight’s event:
She said she hopes to become a doctor, and appreciates the “personal attention” the school offers.
Summit Atlas originally was slated to open in fall of last year, but was pushed back a year amid the battle over state funding for charter schools. While a bill passed to provide money from a lottery-related source, charter opponents went to court again and that suit hasn’t been resolved yet. Charters also have support from donors such as those funding the organization that bought and is fixing up the 35th/Roxbury site for Summit Atlas.