West Seattle Blog... » Arbor Heights http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:37:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Followup: See who’s behind the plan for West Seattle’s first charter school, at current church site in Arbor Heights http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/followup-whos-behind-the-plan-for-west-seattles-first-charter-school-at-current-church-site-in-arbor-heights/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/followup-whos-behind-the-plan-for-west-seattles-first-charter-school-at-current-church-site-in-arbor-heights/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 04:28:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297937

(WSB photo)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Eight days after discovering West Seattle’s first charter school is planned for the north edge of Arbor Heights, we’ve found out much more about the plan.

When we first reported on it January 4th, we knew only that Washington Charter School Development, an arm of Los Angeles-based Pacific Charter School Development, was proposing to remodel and add on to the Freedom Church/Jesus Center property at 9601 35th SW (SW corner of 35th/Roxbury) for an unspecified charter school. Our state’s voters authorized creation of charters two years ago; 10 are approved so far, but only one is open.

We’ve been working for the past week-plus to find out more about the West Seattle plan and have finally connected with WCSD to get answers to some of the many questions raised by the early information we found in city planning files:

First: WCSD is under contract to buy the entire 2 1/3-acre Freedom Church site (price not yet disclosed – the county values the land alone at $3.2 million), with the sale expected to close within three months, according to Patrick Ontiveros, general counsel and Washington state project director for PCSD, which he describes as “a non-profit developer, with a mission to provide long-term affordable facilities solutions to increase the availability of high quality charter schools,” adding that his company “is working with the Gates Foundation to open charter schools in Washington State.”

That organization is providing money, but the school’s operator will be Redwood City-headquartered Summit Public Schools, according to Ontiveros, who says it’s working with his company “to purchase and remodel the site for a high school. In addition to West Seattle, Summit Public Schools plans to open charter schools in Seattle’s International District and Tacoma.”

The latter two, both announced as high schools, are the only schools for which Summit has authorization from the state Charter School Commission, so it will have to apply for permission to open a third school. The next application period opens in February. The ID and Tacoma schools are scheduled to open next fall; for Summit’s ID campus, to be called Summit Sierra, WSCD just bought the former Asian Resource Center for $4 million, according to our partners at The Seattle Times.

Summit’s roots go back to the turn of the millennium in Silicon Valley, according to its website, which shows that it operates seven schools in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

With the charter school intended to use the entire Freedom Church site (previously a Safeway store), Ontiveros adds, “The plan is that the existing building will be redeveloped in addition to new construction to accommodate future expansion. There is a provision where the church can lease back the building until construction is ready to begin, if they desire.” (Here’s the early-stage “site plan” that’s been in the city’s online files since New Year’s Eve and led to our first report, showing a 2-story addition along the Roxbury side of the site.)

The development company is “still wading through all the permitting issues,” he said in response to our question about what kind of reviews they expect to go through. They hope to “have the first phase of renovations completed in time for Summit to open in 2016.”

He added: “We want your readers to know that we are open to meeting with neighbors, community stakeholders and other interested parties. Although we are simply the non-profit developer, we realize that charter schools are new for Seattle. Based on the early interest, we are working with Summit Public Schools to schedule a community meeting.” No date yet, but they promise to give plenty of advance notice.

Four current/future campuses are within a mile of this site – Roxhill Elementary at 30th/Roxbury, the Arbor Heights Elementary rebuild on 104th west of 35th (opening fall 2016), the starting-this-fall campus of Westside School (WSB sponsor) at 37th/104th, and Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) on 28th south of Roxbury.

Meantime, we’re still seeking answers to questions – including, is there a conflict with a medical-marijuana enterprise, Northwest Patient Resource Center, kitty-corner from the prospective charter-school campus? – so you can expect more followups to come.

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Followup: Arbor Heights appeal hearing date pushed back http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/followup-arbor-heights-appeal-hearing-date-pushed-back/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/followup-arbor-heights-appeal-hearing-date-pushed-back/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 18:30:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297490

(Added 1 pm: Site work continuing at Arbor Heights today)
Quick note from today’s Land Use Information Bulletin: The hearing date for the third Arbor Heights Elementary appeal has been pushed back, “due to a problem with the notice.” Today’s notice says the Hearing Examiner will hear it February 2nd. As first reported here last month, this appeal involves issues including zoning exceptions and the fate of two trees. The construction was already scheduled as a two-phase project, resuming this spring.

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West Seattle’s first charter school? Remodel/addition proposal at 35th/Roxbury church site http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattles-first-charter-school-remodeladdition-proposal-at-35throxbury-church-site/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattles-first-charter-school-remodeladdition-proposal-at-35throxbury-church-site/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 04:45:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297120 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Arbor Heights already has two school-construction projects under way – and might soon have a third.

Reviewing city permit application files today, we discovered a just-filed early-stage proposal to remodel and add to what is currently the Jesus Center/Freedom Church building at 35th/Roxbury, in the name of Los Angeles-based Pacific Charter School Development.

The one document publicly visible in the Department of Planning and Development system so far, dated December 31st, is a roughed-out site plan, showing the addition primarily along the Roxbury side of the 2 1/3-acre site.

In addition to the land-use permit filing, we’ve also found a one-month-old LLC filing listing the site’s official address – 9601 35th SW – and listing PCSD’s Washington branch, Washington Charter School Development, as the sole member. The company’s website says it works with charter-school management organizations, so it may not necessarily be the potential operator.

We can’t find any record of a past application for a charter school at this site, or anywhere else in West Seattle, but the next application period is just a month away, opening in mid-February, according to the Washington Charter School Commission website. Of the 10 charter schools approved since a statewide vote legalized them two years ago, the list includes approval for a charter-management organization called Green Dot to open one at an undetermined “South Seattle” site in fall 2016 (added: Green Dot had an informational event in West Seattle last summer). And a charter middle school called Rainier Prep, says it is planning to open in the Highline area this fall, but has no location finalized yet, according to its online FAQ.

Freedom Church bought the site, a former supermarket, for $2.8 million in 2008, according to county records. The 2 1/3-acre site is zoned NC3-40, meaning it could be developed up to four stories, though this proposal mentions only the two-story addition, and renovation of the one-story existing building.

We’ll be following up on this tomorrow, seeking answers to a variety of questions.

SIDE NOTE: The site has four current/future schools within less than a mile – Roxhill Elementary at 30th/Roxbury, the Arbor Heights Elementary rebuild on 104th west of 35th (opening fall 2016), the starting-this-fall campus of Westside School (WSB sponsor) at 37th/104th, and Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) on 28th south of Roxbury.

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More road repairs, more microsurfacing ahead for Arbor Heights http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/more-road-repairs-more-microsurfacing-ahead-for-arbor-heights/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/more-road-repairs-more-microsurfacing-ahead-for-arbor-heights/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 23:26:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296830 Just in from SDOT:

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation are scheduled to make minor repairs such as filling potholes and depressions on numerous blocks in Arbor Heights starting Monday, Jan. 5, weather permitting. SDOT anticipates the work will be completed in less than a month.

The repair work will focus on non-arterial blocks in the western and southwestern sections of Arbor Heights. These repairs will improve the pavement condition to a level where a microsurfacing preventive maintenance treatment would be effective.

Microsurfacing is a protective seal coat which extends the life of pavement. It is a thin, tough layer of asphalt emulsion blended with finely crushed stone for traction.

SDOT’s contractor microsurfaced approximately 27 lane-miles of streets in Arbor Heights last summer. SDOT is now in the process of finalizing the list of blocks that will be included in a smaller microsurfacing project in Arbor Heights this summer. Streets being repaired at this time may or may not be included in this summer’s microsurfacing project.

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West Seattle schools: Hearing set for third Arbor Heights appeal http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-schools-hearing-set-for-third-arbor-heights-appeal/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-schools-hearing-set-for-third-arbor-heights-appeal/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 18:44:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296598

Although work on the Arbor Heights Elementary School site has been under way now for more than four months, one more appeal is pending against a city decision allowing the new school to be built. We covered the two appeals that already have resulted in rulings, in May and August; the current appeal, filed in November, has a hearing coming up January 13th, per a notice in this week’s city Land Use Information Bulletin. It was filed by three area residents and district watchdog Chris Jackins, along with his Seattle Committee to Save Schools, who pursued the two other appeals. Here’s the two-page document covering four points, including the fate of two large trees on the edge of the site, and four zoning exceptions that were granted:

(If you can’t read it embedded above, here’s a PDF version.) We believe these are the two Douglas firs at issue (visible toward the upper left of the top photo – the trees between them and the excavator are not part of the site):

Documents related to the appeal are linked on this page of the website for the city Hearing Examiner, whose chambers on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower downtown will be the location of the hearing at 1 pm January 13th.

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Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC: Signs & safety; livability/growth http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-cc-signs-livabilitygrowth/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/westwood-roxhill-arbor-heights-cc-signs-livabilitygrowth/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:11:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=294039 Should the issue of improving safety on 35th SW also take into consideration the proliferation of signs at some businesses? An attendee at Tuesday night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting brought that up, according to meeting notes from co-chair Joe Szilagyi. And from pre-scheduled agenda items, what he describes as “a rolling discussion about the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda and future growth impacts on the Westwood/Highland Park Urban Village” yielded a dozen discussion points.


See those points, and the rest of the meeting notes, here. Next WWRHAH meeting: 6:15 pm January 6th, Southwest Branch Library.

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Update: Man shot in arm in Arbor Heights, taken to hospital http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/assault-with-weapons-call-in-arbor-heights-3/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/assault-with-weapons-call-in-arbor-heights-3/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:36:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293217

1:36 AM: Police and fire are rushing to the 3700 block of SW 106th (map) in Arbor Heights for a report of a man with a gunshot wound to his arm. It’s not known yet if it was accidental.

1:59 AM: The patient, a man said to be around 30, has been taken to Harborview Medical Center. Our crew is just back from the scene. Police there are still sorting it out but believe it was accidental and aren’t seeking any suspects at this point.

11:45 AM: We don’t have followup information from SPD yet, but we did check with SFD regarding the victim’s last known condition – “stable,” we’re told.

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Arbor Heights microsurfacing: Last call to tell SDOT what you think http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/arbor-heights-microsurfacing-last-call-to-tell-sdot-what-you-think/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/arbor-heights-microsurfacing-last-call-to-tell-sdot-what-you-think/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 03:29:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292344 It’s been spotlighted on the SDOT website … it was brought up at this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting … and we’ve received a nudge from the city about it: If you have anything to say to the city about the microsurfacing work on Arbor Heights this past summer, please take a few minutes and answer this online survey – which also gets into the broader topic of microsurfacing vs. chip seal vs. full road replacement (and even sidewalks).

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Fauntleroy search; Arbor Heights theft http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-crime-watch-fauntleroy-search-arbor-heights-theft/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-crime-watch-fauntleroy-search-arbor-heights-theft/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 03:12:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288479 Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:

FAUNTLEROY SEARCH: Many were wondering about the police presence in Fauntleroy, near Lincoln Park and the ferry dock, since late afternoon. Officers told us they were looking for a “felony warrant suspect” who had been seen in the area, near the bus stop by the dock. No new incident/crime, apparently, but this was someone they were looking for. We don’t know whether they’ve found that suspect yet, and we don’t have details of the warrant.

PACKAGE THEFT: Fumiko in Arbor Heights (near 35th/100th) says she’s been hit by package thieves for the third and final time, and she’s just not going to get home deliveries any more. Her iPhone 6, delivered by UPS at 3:55 pm, was gone when she got home Thursday night and: “This is the third time an UPS or USPS delivered package went missing from my property (front porch and side door).”

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West Seattle demolition watch: Arbor Heights, Genesee Hill, Whittaker updates http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-demolition-watch-arbor-heights-genesee-hill-whittaker-updates/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-demolition-watch-arbor-heights-genesee-hill-whittaker-updates/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 19:45:52 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288367 Went out this morning to check on the three largest demolition sites working in West Seattle:

ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY: At the Arbor Heights site, the buildings are now all gone. Teardown work here started the Friday before Labor Day, but didn’t really rev up for another week. Seattle Public Schools says work will stop down for much of the winter before the second phase, construction, begins. A decision is also pending on whether the new $42 million school will be built to 500 or 650 capacity. During the two-year construction period, AHES is sharing the Boren Building with K-5 STEM.

Now to the district’s other big WS project:

ON GENESEE HILL: The future home of the Schmitz Park Elementary program is now five weeks into the demolition phase. As shown in our photo, just a bit of the main building of the former Genesee Hill Elementary is still standing, toward the east side of the site. This school will be built for 650 students.

And on the private-development front:

‘THE WHITTAKER’ SITE UPDATE: Back on Wednesday, we reported on the start of abatement and demolition work at the site of West Seattle’s biggest current project, The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW). The work has focused so far on the middle section of the site, between 40th (above) and Fauntleroy – yesterday, that included the wooden building that was the original home of West Seattle Produce (which has long since moved across the street):

A project spokesperson tells us the major demolition work is likely still more than a week away. The site also holds a former auto dealership, former used-car lot, former gas station, and former funeral home. The mural on the side of the dealership is to be digitally re-created on a wall of the new development, which will have almost 400 apartments over street-level retail, plus almost 600 off-street parking spaces.

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Arbor Heights Elementary School demolition, four weeks in http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/arbor-heights-elementary-school-demolition-four-weeks-in/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/arbor-heights-elementary-school-demolition-four-weeks-in/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 18:03:25 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286963

As our short Instagram clip shows, the last building semi-standing at the old Arbor Heights Elementary School is getting the wrecking-ball-style treatment right now. It’s been exactly four weeks after the heavy-duty equipment first dug into the buildings there, almost ceremonially, on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day. Now the campus is piled high with rubble:

Once the site clearing is done, the project is expected to stop down from November to February. For a look at the new school that will then be built, check our coverage of the community briefing/Q-A meeting in June.

ADDED: Thanks to Mike R. for the view looking eastward over the full site:

We’ll check this weekend on the other old West Seattle school being demolished to make room for a replacement, Genesee Hill.

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Update: Big Seattle Fire response after gas line cut in Arbor Heights; no injuries, repairs under way http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/big-seattle-fire-callout-for-reported-gas-leak-in-arbor-heights/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/big-seattle-fire-callout-for-reported-gas-leak-in-arbor-heights/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:22:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286130

(WSB photo, added)
3:22 PM: Big Seattle Fire callout categorized as “natural gas leak – major” in the 9800 block of 34th SW. More to come.

3:28 PM: Some of the responding units are being dismissed. Crews on scene say it’s a 2-inch line, cut during construction activity.

3:37 PM: Our crew at the scene says Puget Sound Energy has arrived to shut off the gas. It’s a residential construction site. (You can see the excavator behind the truck.) No injuries. The smell – which should dissipate soon – is most noticeable to the north. P.S. Our crew says a TV helicopter has arrived in the area.

4:13 PM: Just in case you live in the area and are wondering what you’ll find when you get home – the SFD response is closed; the gas line is being fixed; SFD has confirmed no injuries, no evacuations.

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West Seattle scenes: School-demolition crews move to main buildings at Genesee Hill, Arbor Heights http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-scenes-demolition-crews-move-to-main-buildings-at-genesee-hill-arbor-heights/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-scenes-demolition-crews-move-to-main-buildings-at-genesee-hill-arbor-heights/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:50:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285941 (UPDATED Wednesday morning with two more views of Arbor Heights)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:50 PM TUESDAY: If you’ve been meaning to go take a look at what’s left of the former Genesee Hill and/or Arbor Heights elementary schools before they’re completely demolished, you’re running out of time. As of this afternoon, main-building teardown is under way at both sites – above, our photo from GH; below, Tim Eannarino shared the photo from AH this morning:

(Also, a few closeup views caught Robin Adams‘ eye.) The new schools to be built on these sites are both scheduled to open in 2016.

ADDED 9:04 AM WEDNESDAY: Thanks to Mike for sharing these next two Arbor Heights photos:

We checked again with the school district and they still don’t expect to settle on the new AHES’s final size until next spring (they could build it for 500 students or 650; the current school, temporarily housed at the Boren Building, is adding a third kindergarten class, so growth is continuing).

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West Seattle scene: Dogpaddling at Arbor Heights Swim & Tennis http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-scene-dogpaddling-at-arbor-heights-swim-tennis/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-scene-dogpaddling-at-arbor-heights-swim-tennis/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:54:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285833

(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
If one dog playing “fetch” in a pool isn’t cute enough .. how about two?

Tonight was the first of six season-ending sessions in which Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club invites dogs into the pool (which will undergo its annual cleaning before humans go in again next year).

It’s a fundraiser for AHSTC teams. You can buy one-session or all-week admission, 5-7 pm swims nightly through Friday, then 10 am-1 pm Saturday. More info’s in our calendar listing.

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When is a teardown not just a teardown? When it’s a salvage operation, too – like Arbor Heights Elementary http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/when-is-a-teardown-not-just-a-teardown-when-its-a-salvage-operation-too-like-arbor-heights-elementary/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/when-is-a-teardown-not-just-a-teardown-when-its-a-salvage-operation-too-like-arbor-heights-elementary/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 20:28:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285290

Lots of demolition work around West Seattle this month – and we’ve received some bonus information about one project: With major teardown work at Arbor Heights Elementary starting this week, SODO-based Second Use has spent three days on site “reclaiming materials that still had life in them to divert them from the landfill,” according to outreach coordinator Mary Anne Carter, who shared the photos and adds:

We recovered hundreds of items including slate, trough sinks, porcelain enameled barn lights, fir wall cabinets, fir built in cabinets, stainless steel sinks, and more.

Although the school was built in 1953, many of the fixtures were built in the decades previous and used in other schools before being moved to Arbor Heights. Tags and markings on fixtures listed John Hay School, Fauntleroy Elementary School, and others. Most of the inventory can be viewed on our website, though we are continuing to process items and add new material daily. …

It’s my hope that this provides the community with the opportunity to potentially reconnect with the furnishings of their formative years and glean a better perspective of what happened to the material that the school left behind.

Second Use is not involved with the Genesee Hill school-teardown project, according to Carter (work there also has intensified – here’s video we published on Instagram yesterday).

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