Questions about Seattle Public Schools‘ plan for the new Arbor Heights Elementary School? The district has announced a community meeting with updates and Q/A. It’s set for 7 pm August 7th. Here’s the announcement:
Dear Arbor Heights community,
Seattle voters approved the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy in February 2013, which includes the project to replace the existing Arbor Heights building with a newly constructed elementary school building on the Arbor Heights site.
The meeting will be presented by representatives of Seattle Public Schools capital projects team and Bassetti Architects and will include information about the projects’ early design progress. You will be able to learn more about the project scope, schedule, existing conditions and design explorations, ask questions and give feedback.
This will happen at the current AH Elementary, 3701 SW 104th.
Last night was a busy night for community-group meetings. We made it to Fauntleroy (story here) and Admiral (story to come), but for coverage of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Council, we point you to this thorough summary just published on the WWRHAH website by council secretary Joe Szilagyi. Topics included how to advocate for a safer SW Roxbury, one Arbor Heights neighborhood’s push for a traffic circle (here’s their online petition), and asking the city to help the county stave off those potential Metro cuts. Watch WWRHAH’s website and Facebook group for TBA info on the August meeting.
Jen sends word of a midday break-in at her home in the 10400 block of 35th SW – she says she was gone between 11:15 am and 12:15 pm, and somebody kicked in the door, stealing a computer and jewelry boxes. If you saw anything suspicious, she says, please call police (who a reader says are currently in that general area).
Topping tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:
(WSB photo, June 11th)
12 days after his arrest in Arbor Heights, the latest in a series of incidents also including a March manhunt in Shorewood and a February escape from Harborview while handcuffed, repeat offender Alan Polevia is out of jail. We’ve been checking daily as promised but commenter Tophat Topcat spotted it first; the jail register shows Polevia posted bond and was released just after 4:30 pm. As reported here Thursday, his bail was down to $2,500 after he went to court Wednesday and had about $5,000 of bail reduced to “personal recognizance.” The $25,000 additional bail set after the arrest was dropped earlier – the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office told WSB a week ago it didn’t get evidence in time to “rush-file” a charge related to the June 11th arrest, though something’s still possible in the future. How far in the future, hard to say; the March charges he finally answered on Wednesday were filed six months after this West Seattle incident. The condition of his release in connection with that case is that he live at his father’s apartment in the 11900 block of 16th Ave. S. in Burien “for the duration of (the) case.”
Meantime, we have four reader reports from this week – read on:
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand – top photo substituted for earlier phone photo)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:02 PM: We’re still trying to sort out exactly what’s happening with a big police response in the 32nd/106th area of Arbor Heights. Radio communications indicate it’s a search for a burglary suspect. More as we get it.
3:26 PM UPDATE: The original scene is now clear – but we’re checking out another address where a suspect may have been spotted, in the 32nd/105th area.
3:37 PM UPDATE: … and we’ve found the police all back at the original house, where the suspect might be hiding. So this remains an active investigation, but focused at the moment on one particular location.
4:03 PM UPDATE: Police are focused on the back yard of a house at 32nd and 106th; they have a K-9 team, too.
4:19 PM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick Sand has spoken at the scene with SW Precinct Lt. Ron Smith (photo above, in blue). He says this was called in as “suspicious circumstances” – a man was spotted riding a bicycle, towing another bicycle, in possession of two backpacks. More tactical police reinforcements have arrived. Lt. Smith also confirmed they believe the suspect is 32-year-old Alan Polevia (we had heard the name on the scanner but wanted to confirm before publishing) – target of a search in Shorewood earlier this year, and prior to that, known for escaping from custody at Harborview while in handcuffs.
4:33 PM UPDATE: Suspect is out and in handcuffs.
5:24 PM UPDATE: We’re adding photos. Identity confirmed; police are checking on warrants. King County Jail records show Polevia spent three days in jail when finally arrested in late March, three weeks after the Shorewood search. On March 28th, he was charged with burglary and theft in connection with an incident that was reported here, involving a scooter taken in the 5000 block of 37th SW, and a search that eventually ended at 36th and Morgan. He didn’t appear for arraignment, so a warrant was issued for his arrest in April, according to court records.
8:57 PM UPDATE: Polevia is on the King County Jail Register as of about an hour ago, held on the aforementioned warrant and two others, as well as for investigation of unlawful firearm possession related to today’s events. This likely means he’ll have a bail hearing tomorrow; we’ll check with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in the morning. We have added one more photo, above, from this afternoon’s arrest.
Late lunch? Early dinner? Concession booths are part of what awaits you at the Arbor Heights Elementary carnival, on till 6 pm; our photo’s courtesy of a parent volunteer. The community is invited; lots of bouncy rides, too, with wristbands on sale. Even if you’re not going for rides, games, and food, remember they’re collecting items for Northwest Center – gently used household items and clothing, in particular.
ADDED: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand stopped by for a few more photos:
The sun came out to match that tropical-themed bouncy slide! And to make dunk-tank duty a little less chilly – that’s kindergarten teacher David Wilkie in the rainbow wig:
The donation drive filled two trucks, we’re told.
Just two more weeks of school for AH and other Seattle Public Schools campuses. Not that anyone’s counting …
(2009 Arbor Heights carnival photo, shared by since-retired teacher Mark Ahlness)
The weather has brightened just in time for big weekend events, and here’s another one: Tomorrow’s carnival at Arbor Heights Elementary. The entire community is invited, we’re told. You’ll find a 27-foot pipeline slide, obstacle course, bouncy houses, mini-golf course, dunk tank, indoor games, concessions, more. Wristbands are $15 for unlimited rides, with 5 game/concession tickets included. And – even if you’re not coming to ride or play games, they’re having a clothing drive for Northwest Center, and will gladly accept donations of gently used clothes, shoes, and household items. AH Elementary is at 37th/104th; the carnival is scheduled for 3-6 pm.
Two local meetings next week feature two hot topics:
MICROHOUSING @ SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: After stirring concern in other parts of the city, “microhousing” started turning up here (browse WSB development coverage), and now the City Council is considering setting new rules for it. Here’s the recent memo from Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata and Council President Sally Clark to Department of Planning and Development director Diane Sugimura, who is scheduled to discuss microhousing at the Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting next Wednesday (June 5th). Also on the agenda: A Seattle Public Schools manager with updates on the school construction projects in the works here (which include the Fairmount Park addition and the new Arbor Heights and Genesee Hill schools). The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Wednesday, Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool (2801 SW Thistle).
METRO @ WWRHAH COUNCIL – AGENDA/GUESTS UPDATE: We’ve already mentioned that the new Westwood Roxhill Arbor Heights Community Council will focus its entire meeting on Metro next Tuesday (June 4th), and you’re invited even if you’re not within WWRHAH boundaries – there’ll be lots of time for community questions. WWRHAH chair Amanda Helmick has shared the agenda/guest list – read on:
8:53 AM: Close call in the street out front of Arbor Heights Elementary a short time ago – a tree on the other side of SW 104th lost a branch that itself is the size of a tree! Thanks to Christopher Grupp for the photo (and to others for texting/tweeting about it); we’ve been to the scene to take a look too – school buses are getting through eastbound, but the westbound side of the road is blocked until the tree can be cleared.
10:21 AM: Neighbors Dana and Ellie report it’s cleared:
… and say it’s thanks to these guys:
They shared the photos with this update: “Fallen tree in Arbor Heights cleared in one hour’s time, thanks to quick teamwork of Pete Good, Craig Harold, and a trusty chainsaw! So grateful for extraordinary neighbors who helped …”
Remember the call for plant pots at Arbor Heights Elementary, for teacher Marcia Ingerslev and her farming first-graders – and the great response? The tomato plants – and some radishes too, we’re told – have been on sale after school this week and you’re welcome today as they sell plants one last time before Ms. Ingerslev has to haul the remainders off to be donated! The parent volunteer who shared the photo says it’s your chance to “be a proud new home to a grown-from-seed tomato plant (or radish) for a donation that goes fully to the farm program.” It’s a short sale window – about 3 pm to 3:30 pm, we’re told – but if you can make it over to Arbor Heights (37th and 104th), the plants await you, at a $2 donation each.
At Arbor Heights Elementary, they’re already “bubbling” with excitement about a new curriculum (our photo is courtesy of a parent volunteer, from a bubble-experimenting event on the playground last Friday afternoon). It was just last week that the school formally announced it will start moving to an eSTEM curriculum; that came late in the game for new enrollment – but it’s not too late for families to consider switching, and that’s why the school is offering a tour tomorrow (Thursday) morning! Elise Olson from the Arbor Heights PTA board says you’re invited to come learn about the new program and the school, which will in a few years have a brand-new building. All are welcome to join the school tour with principal Christy Collins – meet in the lobby at 9:15 am, 3701 SW 104th. You can also find out about “all the great things happening at Arbor Heights,” as Elise says, via their website or Facebook page.
From today’s edition of the twice-weekly city Land Use Information Bulletin: Westside School (WSB sponsor) has applied for a land-use permit to convert the 74,000-square-foot current site of Hillcrest Presbyterian Church into its permanent campus, including a 22,000-square-foot addition (as first reported here last November). The city’s announcement starts the clock running on the public-comment period; the notice says that deadline is May 15th, and includes this comment form.
ORIGINAL MONDAY NIGHT REPORT: Arbor Heights Elementary has gone public with a curriculum change that principal Christy Collins says will start taking effect this fall: They are moving to eSTEM – environment, science, technology, math. The announcement is now on the school’s home page, but apparently had been made to the school community earlier – after a WSB Forums member mentioned it last week, we asked the district for more information, but hadn’t received any until several people with Arbor Heights ties contacted us tonight to point out the principal’s online announcement. Collins writes that the school “will begin the transition to eSTEM beginning the fall of 2013, with full implementation of the eSTEM curriculum and instructional practice in 2016 when our new school opens.” This comes just one year after the district opened its first STEM elementary at the Boren building on Delridge.
ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Another message from principal Collins says the curriculum might turn out to be eSTEAM – adding an arts emphasis, too. It’s part of an overall message to families addressing multiple topics for next school year – you can see it here.
Two major updates and a new case have come in since our earlier West Seattle Crime Watch roundup, so we’re starting a new one.
First, Lonjina‘s stolen truck is back, and might offer clues for other crime victims:
Was found by a friend of ours at 122nd and Ambaum in the Forest View Apt Complex parking lot. Full of possibly stolen gardening tools. We believe they were not done with the truck! Let readers know if they had their garage or gardening tools missing last night to contact the Burien Police Dept.
Updating the other incident in our earlier roundup – from Al’s wife Christine:
On Friday 4/26 at approximately 4:30 PM a suspicious vehicle was witnessed stopped in front of a home at 10XXX 37th Avenue in Arbor Heights. He was witnessed taking photos of the same car burglarized at the same location on Wednesday 4/24 between 11 PM and 6:45 AM. He sped off toward 102nd when confronted by a neighbor. The prowler’s vehicle was later spotted in the Arbor Heights area.
Vehicle Description: Mid 90s, Dark Green, Chevy S-10 pickup truck
As of Friday this vehicle was making a very loud rumbling engine sound as though it was out of oil.
Suspect Description: White man with an odd long face. Between the ages of 20 and 30. He is believed to be tall due to how he sat in the cab of the truck.
We have overwhelming evidence leading us to believe that this man is prowling the neighborhood with a radio frequency scanning device that allows him to “hack” into smart cars.
Be vigilant and watch out for this truck or suspects pointing tech devices (phones, laptops, etc.) toward cars and houses. Call the Seattle Police Department if you see the truck.
And Carolyn in Fauntleroy reports car vandalism, possibly a prowling attempt:
Just wanted to let you know that the passenger door window in my car was bashed overnight. The person didn’t hit the driver’s side, which was closest to the alley, but had to walked around my car and stand between the fence and my car to take out the window. My car was loaded for a community event but nothing was taken. In the past, someone has rifled through my car but not taken anything on the few occasions that I’ve forgotten to lock it. I’m in 8600 block of Fauntleroy Way SW.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes, both from Arbor Heights. First, from Lonjina:
Our silver 2007 Dodge Dakota was stolen from in front of our house between 1 am and 7 am this morning. We live in the Arbor Heights neighborhood on 105th St. behind AH Elementary. It is a 4-door with a rack and a large toolbox. Unfortunately it was stuffed with tools and fishing gear in preparation for a family outing today. License plate B18349G. Please keep an eye out for it!
And Al reports this incident from Wednesday night:
A UPS package was ripped open — the contents stolen — and the box was thrown on the front lawn of our home on the 10000th block of 37th Ave SW in Arbor Heights. In addition, the criminal burglarized our car and stole a jacket, a case of non-persishable food to be donated to a local school, personal items, and keys.
2:52 PM: Police and fire have responded to 31st and 108th in Arbor Heights – it’s an “assault with weapons” call – details as soon as we get them.
2:56 PM: According to SPD’s Det. Jeff Kappel, this appears to be self-inflicted. No word on the person’s condition; we’re told they are being taken to Harborview Medical Center.
P.S. As we always note in such cases – if you know someone talking about or threatening self-harm, Crisis Clinic is there to help – 24-hour hotline, 206-461-3222.
No time again this morning for a long list of schedule highlights – you can find them any time, 24/7, on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – but there is one reminder we wanted to get out: The third meeting of the new Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights community council is TONIGHT, 6:30 pm, Southwest Library (35th/Henderson) upstairs meeting room. Transportation’s on the agenda, with a rep from SDOT; more details here.
One more reason Arbor Heights Elementary can’t vacate its crumbling building a minute too soon – this weekend, a classroom flooded in bone-dry weather. We went over for photos after parents forwarded a note from principal Christy Collins talking about the damage suffered by Room 9 when a water filter burst over the weekend. The principal wrote in part:
It appears the water ran all weekend with several inches of water soaking all material on the floor. The water and warmth of the room appear to have caused significant condensation on the windows, thereby increasing the possibility of more damage to materials in the room. … a crew from Seattle Public Schools’ maintenance department have worked diligently to move furniture and absorb the standing water with machinery and fans. Unfortunately, it appears the flooring in room 9 is beginning to buckle, so the room most likely will not be habitable for a while. … Teacher and student materials were removed from desks and wooden shelves due to the risk of additional water damage from the accumulated moisture on materials within the room. Students’ personal supplies were transferred to room 19 by morning recess. We were able to salvage most all of the items in the students’ desks that were not made of paper. The classroom computers were turned off and appear to be working.
Here’s the scene in a hallway:
Arbor Heights’ aged facilities are a major reason why it was written into the Building Excellence levy in February for a rebuild – and why after community clamor, the rebuild has been moved up three years from the end of the levy list, to be complete in 2016. As reported here last week, the school is taking applications to be part of its Design Advisory Team – tomorrow’s the deadline.
Christina shared that photo of a scary but short-lived sight in front of the New Apostolic Church at 32nd and 106th in east Arbor Heights last night. The call was logged as “brush fire”; we checked this morning with Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says that once Engine 37 got there, they had it “knocked down in less than a minute.” He adds that it’s believed to have been sparked by “improperly discarded smoking materials” – a reminder that it doesn’t have to be the dusty dry heart of summer for a tossed-aside cigarette (etc.) to cause trouble.
With the Seattle School Board approving the architect contract for the new Arbor Heights Elementary earlier this month, and opening set for fall 2016, it’s time for a community Design Advisory Team to be formed – and the call for applications has just gone out on the school website. The open letter from principal Christy Collins says in part:
The Design Advisory Team will be composed of current Arbor Heights staff and families as well as neighborhood residents. Our goal is to form a working team of 10-12 individuals who can commit to six formal meetings over the course of April and May and two additional future meetings.
The meeting schedule is part of her letter; the application is here, and needs to be in by April 2nd.
Since its new school is being built on the same site as the deteriorating old one, Arbor Heights is expected to move to the Boren building on Delridge starting in fall 2014, SPS spokesperson Tom Redman tells WSB, remaining there for the two school years prior to the opening of the new building. The new K-5 STEM school is there now, with no timeline for a decision on its permanent home, but the Boren campus has room for hundreds more students, and improvements are planned this summer. The school board’s Executive Committee was briefed on those improvements last week; Redman says they would include:
1) seismic strengthening in the form of shear walls and roof-to-wall braces;
2) completion of the upgrades to finishes in the north wing;
3) selective demolition and “tenant improvements” for two child care rooms and Arbor Heights;
4) replacement of all exterior doors and hardware
P.S. If you’d like to know more about how a school Design Team is supposed to work – its part of the in-depth district manual.
Arbor Heights Cooperative Preschool is officially looking for a new home, and parent educator Judy Hall hopes you have a suggestion:
Arbor Heights Cooperative Preschool, one of five West Seattle cooperative preschools sponsored by South Seattle Community College, is currently seeking a new location. After sixteen years of operating out of Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, Arbor Heights Cooperative is actively looking for a new site in the area.
The site search committee is seeking a new location, ideally sited on the grounds of a church or other nonprofit organization, that would provide the school with approximately 1500 to 3000 square feet. The current location at Hillcrest Church offers two classrooms, a storage area, and access to an outdoor area, and the reasonable rent offered by the church has enabled the co-op to keep tuition affordable for local families, and provide scholarship assistance to those who need it. Arbor Heights Cooperative preschool serves children between the ages of two and five, and operates preschool classes in the mornings and afternoons Monday-Thursday from 9:00–3:00, and Friday mornings from 9:15–11:30.
Affiliated with community and technical colleges, which provide a crucial parent education component, the cooperative preschools offer both parents and children a rich and stimulating developmentally appropriate environment in which to learn together during the early learning years.
If you have a lead on a new site that would fit the Arbor Heights Cooperative Preschool’s needs, please contact Judy Hall at 206-938-2278 or Jkatalki@aol.com
As first reported here last November, the church where the preschool has been housed is selling its campus to Westside School (WSB sponsor), which plans extensive renovations. At recent community meetings about the campus’s future, Hillcrest Presbyterian’s pastor explained that its congregation just doesn’t need that much space any more and is moving to a new, smaller location.
Some Arbor Heights residents asked about a police search late Sunday night. Here’s what we’ve found out from Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams: A man was arrested for violating a domestic-violence court order in the 3700 block of SW 106th (map). He ran as police were answering the call; a search ensued, with a K-9 unit, and Lt. Williams says they “found him hiding under a porch, and arrested him. The suspect had some non-life-threatening injuries caused by his flight and some self-inflicted injuries that occurred before police arrived.” After hospital treatment, he’ll be booked into King County Jail. According to Lt. Williams, nobody else was hurt.
Though the usual meeting night will be first Tuesdays, this month only, the new Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights community council is meeting on the first Wednesday – and that’s tomorrow night. 6:30 pm, upstairs meeting room at the Southwest Library (35th/Henderson). Guest speaker is our area’s Seattle Police Crime Prevention Coordinator, Mark Solomon, to talk about community crime-prevention tactics including Block Watches, and to answer your questions. Also tomorrow night, council facilitator Mat McBride will help shepherd attendees through some organizational/leadership decisions. If you’re there, as he said last time (here’s our report on the first meeting), you’re a founding member! P.S. The council has a Facebook group here, and there’s a FB event page for the meeting here.
When we first reported in November that Westside School (WSB sponsor) is seeking to buy the Hillcrest Presbyterian Church site as its permanent home, Westside leadership promised to schedule a meeting with its prospective new neighbors in Arbor Heights. They now have plans for two. From a flyer that’s just been circulated in AH:
Westside School is planning to move to the Hillcrest Church facility in the Arbor Heights neighborhood, and we would like to share our vision and plans and hear your feedback.
Open House #1: Saturday, March 9th, 10 AM-11 AM, Hillcrest Church, 10404 34th Avenue SW [map]
Open House #2: Tuesday, March 12th, 7 PM-8 PM, Hillcrest Church, 10404 34th Avenue SW
You can see the flyer in its entirety here. Westside is in its third year of leasing the former EC Hughes Elementary campus in Sunrise Heights; Seattle Public Schools has not yet decided how to use that school after Westside vacates. Westside, meantime, has said it plans to renovate the church’s structures rather than demolish them.
Meet the 7 Pirate Pandas – from left, Max, Ethan, Jonathan, Marcel, Lucas, Max. They are the winning Global Reading Challenge team from Arbor Heights Elementary after competition on Friday afternoon. Ten teams of 4th and 5th graders started the afternoon, answered questions about the 10 books that had to be read by this year’s competitors — and the Pirate Pandas, all 4th graders in Ms. Boitano’s class (per a parent volunteer who shared info and the photo), emerged victorious. The GRC is a Seattle Public Library-led program, and seven West Seattle elementaries are among the contenders again this year. The semi-finals are at the downtown library the week of March 11th, and then the finalists face off there on March 26th.
Here’s a challenge for you – a good one – and we’d dare say that you don’t have to be part of an elementary classroom to help out with this:
The Students of Room 16 at Arbor Heights Elementary are celebrating the 100th day of school by collecting 100 food items for the West Seattle Food Bank. We challenge all elementary classrooms in West Seattle elementary schools to collect 100 cans as well.
While we have the food in our classroom we will learn to read the labels. We will count the food and track our progress using tally marks and links on a paper chain. We will also sort the cans by size, weight, and food group.
We will be learning important reading and math skills while helping our community.
Last year our class donated more than 200 items of food for the food bank.
Please help us reach or exceed our goal.
Proud teacher in Room 16
The West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank (whose service area includes part of West Seattle) both appreciate your donations any time – food or cash – click on their names in this line to get to their info-laden websites.
FIRST REPORT, 10:04 AM: For the second time in two months, Arbor Heights Elementary has been burglarized. Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson tells WSB the break-in was discovered after an alarm went off around 5 am; officers found a door, hinge pins removed, propped open on the south side of the school, and started searching. Though the final report isn’t in yet, so far, it appears that one classroom was broken into and “a couple computers removed,” according to Det. Jamieson. That’s also what happened at the school two months ago, as reported here November 6th, though we don’t know yet if it was the same classroom. We have an inquiry in with Seattle Public Schools, seeking more details. (Thanks to the WSB’er who tipped us to this by reporting police were seen at the school early today.)
11:50 AM UPDATE: District spokesperson Teresa Wippel says this is not the same classroom as the November break-in mentioned above. So far, they know “at least two Apple computers” were taken this time. The alarm tripped at 4:52 am, and the call got to police within minutes, but the burglar(s) were gone.
4:29 PM UPDATE: More information from SPS’s Wippel: Four computers were stolen today, worth $1,800 each – $7,200 total – “And no budget to replace them. The four stolen last November weren’t replaced either. (Principal) Christy Collins said the kids ‘feel violated’.”
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