If you’re associated with Chief Sealth International High School in some way, including students’ families, you’ve probably seen or heard a message in the past few days about the renovated campus awaiting Fire Marshal clearance before staff can move in. That clearance has just been achieved, says Sealth principal John Boyd, who tells WSB that teachers and administrators will start moving in tomorrow – exactly 2 weeks before classes begin.
With the Chief Sealth International High School renovations close to completion – and the first day of school just three weeks away – the project-management team at DKA Architecture just sent along a new aerial. (Ever wonder about unmarked choppers/planes in the area from time to time? Keep in mind, some are taking photos like these!) It shows the Chief Sealth campus from the south side along Thistle, looking northward. Note the paved parking areas, among other touches. We talked to Sealth principal John Boyd a short time ago to find out how soon his staff will be moving in; as the quote in our headline indicates, they’re eager. Right now, Boyd says, they’re awaiting the results of fire/safety inspections. If those go well, the contents of administrative offices and classrooms – what Sealth teachers have already boxed up – will be moved over the weekend, with the hopes that administrators can come in Monday and Tuesday to start getting settled, with teachers following on Tuesday and Wednesday. “We’re anxious, we want to get over there, but we want everything to be done (right) – and we’re still operable at Boren” till then, Boyd tells WSB, adding, “The facilities are beautiful.” The upgrades have been under way for two years, and the new Denny International Middle School is being built on the same site, though its completion/move aren’t scheduled till next year. (More project background can be found here.) ADDED 1:12 PM: Also just got a new photo taken at the site today and shared by DKA, described as “the installation of the new water feature in the CS Galleria entrance”:
More new outside/inside photos here.
As work continues on Chief Sealth International High School renovations, and construction of the new Denny International Middle School next door, the date’s already set for two events celebrating the reopening of Sealth’s permanent campus (map): The day before classes start for next school year, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned, 9:30 am September 7th, at the main entrance. Then on Saturday, September 25th, an all-community celebration is planned, described in the announcement as “an opportunity for the community to come tour the renovated main building, gym and new Galleria/Commons.” The galleria’s where this photo was taken earlier this month (it, and the photo above, are courtesy of the project team):
If you missed it the first time, here’s our story from a hard-hat tour with Sealth students in April.
SIDE NOTE: Sealth’s graduation is one of four we covered in West Seattle this month – here are the story links:
South Seattle Community College (June 17th photos/video)
West Seattle High School (June 16th photos/video)
Chief Sealth International High School (June 15th photos/video – including the “flash mob”)
Seattle Lutheran High School (June 11th photos)
That’s the newest aerial photo from the team working on the new Denny International Middle School (left side of the photo) and renovations to Chief Sealth International High School. It comes with the latest construction update: For the new Denny, to be occupied in 2011, they’re planning to complete the roofing for the building’s north and south wings this month; for Sealth, floor leveling will be completed in the performance-arts area, and doors and carpeting will be installed in classrooms. (CSIHS student reps took a hard-hat tour of the site April 9 – here’s our report; our archived Denny-Sealth coverage is here; updates from the project team can be found here.)
You’ve probably seen the photos from the outside – but this time, we’re going inside. As Chief Sealth International High School renovations move into the final months, school administrators thought it was time to get the students excited about the upgrades too. So Thursday morning a busload of 2nd-period class reps – who act as liaisons between classmates and staff – got a hardhat tour; WSB got to join them. First stop on the tour, the former commons area, where project manager Robert Evans explained what it was morphing into:
After Sealth students and staff move back to the permanent campus this fall, they’ll be lunching in the new Galleria (top photo). Many more sights ahead, including another look at the slope-clearing goats: Click to read the rest of Chief Sealth renovations: Students’ behind-the-scenes tour…
Look who’s just joined the project team at the Westwood site where Chief Sealth High School is being renovated and the new Denny International Middle School is being built: Goats from Rent-A-Ruminant. According to the project team from DKA, the goats are clearing blackberries and other undergrowth near newly planted evergreens on the west/north sides of the site, and will be there for about two weeks. We snagged a quick iPhone clip:
Meanwhile, landscaping work and other components of the current phase of the project may involve heavy equipment on nearby streets, so a doorhanger is being distributed to nearby homes; here’s what it says. Though the project website has a webcam, you’re not going to see the goats on it – they’re up on the slopes rather than down in the thick of the construction.
Exactly three months from today, June 22 will be the last day of school for Chief Sealth High School in its temporary quarters at the former Boren Junior High on Delridge. In September, after two years away, Sealth moves back into its permanent location – while the new adjacent Denny International Middle School is built. The project team has just provided the latest site aerial:
Compare that shot (taken last week) to a similar view seven months earlier:
Denny isn’t scheduled to move to its new site (the lower left of those photos) till 2011, so Sealth students will still have the campus to themselves when school starts this fall. The project’s official website is here; it includes a webcam, looking currently at the Galleria that both schools will share – see that here.
That’s the newest aerial of the project that’s renovating Chief Sealth High School and building the new Denny International Middle School next door. It’s from a presentation that was given during the prospective-student open house at Sealth last Thursday night; the project team has just shared a web-ready version of the full presentation. It includes bullet-point info on all the renovation work, as well as many INSIDE photos from inside the project site taken during the past year and a half. Chief Sealth reopens its permanent campus this fall; Denny is scheduled to move into its new school next door in time for fall 2011. Here’s the presentation (32-page PDF); Denny, by the way, has its big open house tomorrow night, and is also offering tours – here’s the schedule shared by principal Jeff Clark:
Tours: February 2, 9, 24 and March 2, 9, 17 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. All are welcome – no appointment needed. Description of school offerings followed by a guided school tour.
Evening Open House for Prospective New Families: January 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. Following the presentation, guests will have the opportunity to meet teachers and staff.
(The tours will show you around the current campus, not the construction site, in case there’s any confusion.) By the way, the Sealth/Denny construction site has a webcam you can check for a close-up look at what’s happening right now.
Though we just updated the King County Water Taxi dock work at Seacrest Pier early this morning, it’s worth another note: The county announcement last week had said the fishing pier was expected to stay open, it was CLOSED when we were over at Seacrest a little while ago. The crane/barge work is so close that it’s easy to see why. So in case you were thinking of going fishing (or view-enjoying), take note, it may not be accessible if you go while this is happening. We’re checking with the county to see if there is any more predictable information to share on that. Fascinating work to watch, though, and thanks again to kmo39 for high-level views like the ones shared earlier today.
(added 3:33 pm) Update from Susan Whitmore at KCDOT:
I just got back from Seacrest Dock and want to update you on the status of the fixed fishing pier. It isn’t officially closed, but when the crane is working over the pier (off and on for the next few days) the construction supervisor is suggesting that folks don’t go out on the pier. They are making good progress and have already started hammering in the piles and have three in place already. The supervisor mentioned that they will also ask folks not to use the fixed pier for a day during the week of Jan 18th when the concrete pumping truck is on site pumping concrete.
Pauline Sugarman, Seattle Public Schools BEX Program Community Outreach Assistant, shares that photo of the topping-off ceremony celebrated at the Denny site just before Christmas, and this aerial of the entire project site:
(Scroll through the Denny-Sealth coverage archive to see previous aerials.) We asked if there’s an update on whether the new Denny is likely to be occupied midyear 2011-2012 or not till the start of the 2011-2012 school year; Sugarman says that the final decision hasn’t been made yet, but the latter may be more likely, as Denny work might not be done before March 2011. Chief Sealth, though, remains on track to reoccupy its permanent campus this fall, after two years in temporary quarters at the former Louisa Boren Junior High School on Delridge.
In the latest construction update, they say Sealth work is continuing on “insulation, doors, plumbing, HVAC, electrical and fire sprinklers” and wall-framing, while structural-steel deliveries continue for the new Denny – they’ve already completed putting up the steel for the new Denny gym as well as the Galleria that both schools will share. Sealth is scheduled to move back this fall after 2 years at the Boren interim location; we’re checking on the latest timetable for Denny occupancy. Here’s the official project-information site.
If you ever went to a play, a concert or an assembly in the Chief Sealth High School auditorium – you’ll remember these seats. They’re being replaced as part of the renovation project that’s in its home stretch. Second Use Building Materials shared the photo with news that it salvaged the 600 (or so) seats for reuse, and that they’re now for sale – you can even just buy one (here’s a sample page from the Second Use website). Says the announcement from Second Use, “These seats are great for adding a bit of flair or history to home design projects, business settings, or even classrooms.” For information about the material or the salvage project, you can contact Patrick Burningham at 206-510-8272 or Patrick@seconduse.com.
Courtesy of the project team at DKA, new photos taken just yesterday at the Denny/Sealth construction site in Westwood – where DKA says that as of the end of October, “60% of the structural steel needed for the construction of the new Galleria and Denny International Middle School had been delivered to the construction site. Footings for the new Galleria and Denny school are now 90% complete as are the underground utilities for the Galleria.” Here’s a view with more of the new Denny’s “skeleton” (left side):
For perspective – from an earlier story, here’s a rendering of the entire project site from the same direction – looking south – what you see above is roughly at the rear center of this (the galleria attaches the new Denny to the existing Sealth):
DKA’s update continues:
In the existing Chief Sealth High School building, the contractor completed framing walls on the first floor and is 70% complete with wall framing on the 2nd floor. The contractor continued work on the mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-in in the Chief Sealth building.
This month, November, 2009, work will continue on the foundation and walls for the new Denny International Middle School. Deliveries of the structural steel for the new Denny School will continue as will the steel erection of the Commons area. The contractor will continue framing walls in Chief Sealth High School. Site work will continue on the south and west sides of the project.
More construction photos are online here. Sealth renovations are to be complete in time for classes to resume at the site this fall, after two years in temporary quarters at Boren; the new Denny is to be complete in early 2011. Work’s been under way at the site since July 2008.
That’s the latest aerial photo (taken last month but posted today) of the Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth High School shared-campus construction site in Westwood (an all-new Denny is being built, while Sealth is getting various upgrades/renovations). It’s new on the district website along with updates on the project – what’s done, what’s in progress – you can read those here. P.S. If you are among the parents working to learn more about Denny and Sealth because of the attendance-boundary revisions, a few notes: The official district informational meetings in West Seattle are tomorrow night at WS High School (3000 California SW) and Friday night at Denny (30th/Thistle), both at 6:30; also, Sealth is having an informational night for its International Baccalaureate program, which we just added to the Events calendar last night – it’s coming up at 7 pm November 3rd at Sealth’s interim location at Boren (5950 Delridge).
Just received that aerial photo from Pauline Sugarman at DKA, which is leading the new Denny Middle School/renovated Chief Sealth High School project – she calls it the “first aerial photo” of the project and included the construction update that’s going to neighbors and other interested parties:
Last month, July, 2009, the Project 1 contractor completed the retaining wall along the east property line as well as continued work on the sewer line along with east property. Grading for the north parking lot was started and will be completed by the first week of August.
This month, August, 2009, work for Project 1 will include site asphalt paving at the north parking lot and east road.
For Project 2, installation of the short aggregate piers will be completed by the end of this month. The Project 2 contractor is starting the interior renovation of the main classroom building for Chief Sealth. Foundation work will also be starting in August along with site work including grading, excavation and underground utilities for the new Denny school.
Installation of some storm sewer piping and connecting to the existing sanitary manhole in SW Kenyon Street, 260 feet east of the SW 26th Avenue intersection will take place August 10th through the 21st. The new utility will serve the new Denny Sealth campus scheduled to open in fall, 2010. No other utilities will be impacted by this work. Pedestrian and vehicle access to homes adjacent to the work zone will be maintained during the street closure. Detour signs will be up to direct all other traffic during construction hours.
Visit the BEX website bex.seattleschools.org/chiefsealth.html to see photos, construction news and more.
Please contact the Denny/Chief Sealth project manager, Robert Evans, at (206) 658-2731 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding this construction project.
Sealth is scheduled to reopen in a year; move-in for the new Denny is planned for 2011.
(photo added 12:33 pm – Denny-Sealth construction view from the north side, along SW Kenyon)
Two reminders: The 16th SW road-rebuilding work north of South Seattle Community College is scheduled to get into full swing next week, but SDOT has warned that preparation work this week (such as equipment arrival) may result in delays. Also, the Chief Sealth High School-Denny Middle School project has moved into a new stage; work is under way on the foundation, utilities and retaining walls for the new Denny, and crews are starting installations of electrical/mechanical upgrades at Chief Sealth, as well as asphalt removal at the site’s north driveway. Work at the high school is scheduled to be done in time for classes to resume there in fall of 2010; the new Denny is to be completed in 2011.
Now that the legal challenge to the Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth High School site project has been settled (WSB coverage here), the project has its Master Use Permit, and project managers say that means the next phase of construction is about to begin. They’ve shared with us the doorhanger that they plan to distribute to nearby residents tomorrow, with specifics on how construction is about to ramp up. See it here. As the doorhanger notes, Sealth work is expected to be done by next summer, and construction of the new Denny is to be finished in winter 2011; here’s the project’s official website.
(entrance and courtyard for new Denny Middle School)
We’ve just received these new renderings of what Denny Middle School — as of next fall, Denny International Middle School — will look like when its new building is complete on the Chief Sealth High School campus nearby. This view is looking west:
They’re from a presentation made to the Denny PTSA this week; you can see the full presentation, with other renderings, including the plan for the current Denny site, here. (While the presentation says the new building will be done in late winter 2011, we’re told that Denny principal Jeff Clark still plans to move the staff that summer and start classes there in fall 2011, as he told us two months ago .)
More on this week’s presentation, and other aspects of the ongoing CSHS renovation/DMS (future) construction project, can be found on this district-maintained website. The site also includes monthly construction updates (with photos).
Two weeks ago, we published a short report from the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers in the Municipal Tower, after listening to arguments from both sides in the appeal of the decision granting “departures” crucial to the Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School co-located-campus project (rendering above). At the end of that hearing, deputy hearing examiner Anne Watanabe promised to publish her ruling in two weeks. Though the ruling is not yet available online, we got a call tonight from the person who filed and argued the appeal, West Seattle-based district watchdog Chris Jackins. He has received a copy of the decision and tells WSB that while the ruling upholds the city’s granting of the “departures” – allowing the project more height and less parking than city code otherwise would have required – he says “we did get two of the things we wanted”: One, a stipulation that the two schools’ start/dismissal times must be staggered by at least 30 minutes; two, a stipulation that a certified arborist be present for any future “tree removal activities.” (Jackins had documented the removal of trees on the site while a different appeal was still pending, as we reported last August.) “I’m happy about those two things,” he added. We will check with the Hearing Examiner tomorrow to seek a copy of the full ruling so we can add it here.
We’ve spent the past three-plus hours in the city Hearing Examiner‘s hearing room on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown, listening to arguments in the appeal of the city’s decision granting two “departures” for the Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School co-located campus project. (Those “departures” allow the project to exceed height requirements – for the “galleria” roof peak shown in the rendering above — and to not meet parking requirements, and were finalized by the city after going through a community/district advisory committee.) The appeal was argued by West Seattle-based district watchdog Chris Jackins, who brought two retired educators as witnesses; they focused largely on arguments against the co-location in general, rather than focusing on the parking/height issues that were officially challenged. Defending the decision, the city Department of Planning and Development and also private land-use lawyer Richard Hill on behalf of Seattle Public Schools. Jackins’ contentions include “The project will have adverse impacts on views and shading, removal of trees and vegetation, and parking and traffic,” and “The DPD decision … did not properly balance the ‘project’s relationship to educational needs’ ‘with the level of impacts on the surrounding area’.” Deputy hearing examiner Anne Watanabe heard the case and will now take it under advisement; she says she will issue her written decision within 14 days.
We usually do not publish complete “tags” on WSB, as it’s believed publicity may further encourage tagging vandals, but this time, police actually are asking us to show you these two photos in hopes you might be able to solve a costly crime: One month after we first told you about a break-in and vandalism spree at the permanent Chief Sealth High School site (WSB coverage here and here), currently closed for renovation work, Southwest Precinct Detective Nick Bauer tells WSB the damage now totals $200,000; much of that damage was from a fire set by the burglar(s), but they also broke windows, skylights, and even some equipment in the library. Believed to be linked to the break-in: Graffiti vandalism on the roof, as seen above and below:
What police are asking is this: If you have seen graffiti/tagging in a style resembling either of these photos – or if even better, you have any idea who the “writer(s)” might be – please give them a call. CrimeStoppers of Puget Sound is a good place to start, since you can tip anonymously: 206-343-2020 or 800-222-TIPS. SPD also has a non-emergency line, 206-625-5011. Just one of the ways in which your tip could help: Police can check their databases for known taggers, and if it turns out that something you have seen has already been linked to a certain offender, that may help them make the connection that cracks this case. Side note: The white blob in the top photo is our edit to block a profanity; investigators wonder if “f— the merger ” might be a reference to the end result of the work that is under way now, not only renovating CSHS but also building a new Denny Middle School on the same campus.
(rendering courtesy Weber Thompson)
We reported after the last meeting last Thursday night that it was expected a special meeting date would be set April 2nd for the Conner Homes Junction megaproject to return to the Design Review Board – now that date is confirmed in the latest Land Use Information Bulletin – the meeting’s at 6:30 pm April 2nd, at West Seattle Christian Church (more room than the High Point Library where the last meeting happened, and no time limit). Here’s the notice; here’s our full report on last week’s meeting.
ALSO FROM TODAY’S LAND USE INFORMATION BULLETIN:
-Appeal hearing set April 24 for land-use decisions related to the Denny-Sealth project (here’s the notice)
-Official notices of two other Design Review meetings we’d already reported here – both on April 9, both at Madison Middle School – 2988 SW Avalon at 6:30 pm (here’s the notice), 4532 42nd SW at 8 pm (here’s the notice)
The day after we reported on vandalism/arson damage at the Chief Sealth High School (permanent) campus, which is closed till summer of next year for major renovations, we have some followup information from Seattle Public Schools. We asked how security would be beefed up – SPS spokesperson Tom Redman‘s reply: “The general contractor for the Sealth renovation project has contracted with a professional security firm for guard services to patrol the Sealth building and grounds.” We also asked how much the damage would cost to repair – no dollar figure provided; Redman said, “Most of the damage is limited to broken glass and a small fire in one classroom, in addition to possible smoke damage. The general contractor’s insurance company’s risk adjusters are assessing the extent and cost of the damage.”
Some updates on Denny Middle School, from a conversation with Principal Jeff Clark: First big one, the move-in plan has changed for the new Denny that’ll be built on the nearby Chief Sealth High School campus. As we reported in recent months, there was a tentative plan to make the move over winter break 2010-2011. Now, Clark says, that plan’s been scrapped, since it would likely have been educationally disruptive, to say the least. The plan is now to move the Denny staff immediately after the end of the school year in June 2011 (so Denny summer programs that year will happen on the new campus), and start classes there in fall 2011. Also from our visit to Denny (and more to come later): Music director Marcus Pimpleton will lead the Denny Marching Band in tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown (parade info here), so if you’re going, watch for them!
That’s the doorhanger that people living around the Chief Sealth High School (permanent) campus will get this week, according to managers for the project that includes both Sealth renovations and the construction of the new Denny Middle School on the Sealth campus. It includes major digging for gas and water lines. As we reported last week, the district changed its mind about a big “groundbreaking” celebration for this phase, but the work proceeds, with the goal of Sealth moving back in fall of 2010, and Denny opening in 2011.
First, Seattle Public Schools announced a March 12 groundbreaking ceremony for the next phase of the Sealth/Denny construction project; then they announced last week it would be postponed till they had the permits all in hand; now, Tom Redman from the district tells WSB they’ve just decided to save the money and not have a groundbreaking event after all, in favor of spending the $ on “two big community celebrations” when Chief Sealth reopens in 2010 and when the new Denny Middle School on the Sealth campus opens in 2011.
Just got a call from David Tucker with the Seattle Public Schools communications team: The “groundbreaking ceremony” for the next stage of the Chief Sealth High School/Denny Middle School co-located campus project has been postponed. It originally was planned for March 12th, but the “master use permit” has not yet been granted by the city (here’s the city DPD page for the site), and Tucker says they want to be sure that permit’s in hand before they have a celebration. They won’t set a new date till the permit is officially granted. Other work has been under way at the site for months, but this phase will include some major construction, including the Commons to be shared by the two schools, according to the project team. Meantime, another school ceremony is coming up in our area: An event celebrating the international school designations for Denny MS and Concord Elementary (first reported here Feb. 11), 10 am next Tuesday at Concord (which is in South Park but is considered part of the West Seattle South elementary cluster).
Tonight’s meeting of the Design Team for the Redevelopment of the Denny Middle School Site – whose efforts we’ve been chronicling since September – was a momentous one. What you see above is the “preferred plan” for the site, drawn after many meetings in which community members, school employees, district consultants debated what to do with the site, with just three main prerequisites: It needed to have a softball field and tennis courts, to replace the ones removed on the current Chief Sealth campus as it transforms into the joint campus of Sealth and the future Denny, plus it’s supposed to hold space open for a possible elementary school some years down the road – read on for more details on this plan, and what happens next: Click to read the rest of Your first look at the “preferred plan” for the Denny site’s future…
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