West Seattle Blog... » Genesee Hill http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 27 Nov 2015 01:08:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Letter lists 4 potential names for new school on Genesee Hill – and a potential new plan http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/letter-lists-4-potential-names-for-new-school-on-genesee-hill-and-a-potential-new-plan/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/letter-lists-4-potential-names-for-new-school-on-genesee-hill-and-a-potential-new-plan/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:40:57 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307252

(Image captured this morning from construction-site webcam)
Remember the call for suggestions about what to call the new school being built on Genesee Hil, for the program currently housed (and overflowing) at Schmitz Park Elementary? A letter has just gone out listing four finalists, and launching a vote. The finalists are:

*Genesee Hill Elementary School: Genesee Hill is the name of the original building, which opened in 1949.

*Genesee-Schmitz Elementary School: Genesee-Schmitz recognizes the shared identity and history of the neighborhood and the two schools.

*Dietrich Schmitz Elementary School: Dietrich Schmitz was the longest-serving member of the Seattle School Board in history, serving 32 years and multiple times as President.

*Thelma DeWitty Elementary School: Thelma DeWitty was the first African-American teacher in Seattle, working first in West Seattle at the Cooper School.

The four potential names are not the only points of interest in the letter from Schmitz Park principal Gerrit Kischner. It’s been pointed out that the new school, with capacity around 650, might be not be big enough to hold SPE’s continuing-to-swell population, and Kischner’s letter includes this mention of one way that might be addressed:

… Please note that while we would like to move forward to finalize the naming of the new building, we are also continuing to watch enrollment numbers that could affect the long-term plans for both our current and future school sites.

The Building Leadership Team made a point of requesting that we ensure that the Schmitz Family legacy, which has inspired Schmitz Park Elementary School to be a flagship elementary program in the Seattle School District, will continue to be recognized and honored. If enrollment trends continue to the point that our program could be needed to operate at both sites, we will recommend to the Superintendent that the new building be opened as Schmitz Park School at Genesee Hill.

Regardless, we will not change the name of the school building we currently occupy, which is officially named by the School Board as “Schmitz Park School.” This is a promise made by the District to the Schmitz Family, who donated the land for the Schmitz Park Preserve and school site. Important Schmitz Park traditions and our fox mascot and logo will continue at the new building. …

We’re following up with the district regarding the “both sites” possibility; meantime, you can read the entire letter here.

Now, back to the name poll: Make your choice online here; if you’d like to vote another way, the letter mentions you can postal-mail or drop off your choice to/at SPES (5000 SW Spokane, Seattle 98116). Deadline is April 26th – one week from this Sunday.

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You name the school! Community suggestions sought for new elementary on Genesee Hill http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/you-name-the-school-community-suggestions-sought-for-new-elementary-on-genesee-hill/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/you-name-the-school-community-suggestions-sought-for-new-elementary-on-genesee-hill/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 18:19:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=304501

(Rendering envisioning the new school’s interior)

As construction continues on the new elementary school at the site of the former Genesee Hill Elementary, the process of deciding what to call it has just expanded to include you! Here’s the announcement:

The West Seattle community, along with Schmitz Park Elementary families, staff and Genesee Hill School alumni, are being invited to submit suggestions for the name of the new school building being constructed to replace the old building on the Genesee Hill school site.

This Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) project was approved by Seattle voters in February 2013. The Schmitz Park Elementary program is scheduled to move into the new building at the Genesee Hill site in September, 2016.

“We hope to select a name that honors our legacy as Schmitz Park Elementary, while building a new tradition, in a new location, on Genesee Hill,” said Gerrit Kischner, Principal, Schmitz Park Elementary.

If you wish to nominate a name, including the current Genesee Hill School name, please email it to communications@schmitzparkpta.org. All nominations need to be received by March 31, 2015. Please include the criteria for why the name should be selected. Seattle Public Schools’ School Board naming procedure states that the naming of new buildings should be selected based upon: (a) geographical location or local community name; or (b) distinguished individuals who have served the local community, state, or nation, whether in education or other fields.

Once names have been received, a committee that includes a representative from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will compile the names. The community will then be asked to vote for their preferred name. The results of the poll, along with other submitted information, will be used to make a recommendation that will be sent to the Seattle Public Schools superintendent for review and consideration. The superintendent would then make a recommendation to the School Board for approval. For more information, please visit schmitzparkpta.org.

]]> http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/you-name-the-school-community-suggestions-sought-for-new-elementary-on-genesee-hill/feed/ 21 West Seattle schools: ‘Live’ camera view of Genesee Hill project http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-schools-live-camera-view-of-genesee-hill-project/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-schools-live-camera-view-of-genesee-hill-project/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:53:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295637

(View from the new camera as of a few minutes before we published this)
If you want to check in on the progress of the new elementary school on Genesee Hill, you don’t have to walk/bike/run/drive/send your drone over … a live webcam is now up and running on the site. See it here. The school’s now projected to open in fall of 2016 as the new home of the current Schmitz Park Elementary program (what then happens to THAT campus is apparently back to being “undecided”); construction has been under way for more than three months now – demolition of the old GH Elementary started in early September.

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City Light to start cleanup work at Dakota Substation site tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/city-light-to-start-cleanup-work-at-dakota-substation-site-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/city-light-to-start-cleanup-work-at-dakota-substation-site-tomorrow/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 20:42:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293989

Alert for Genesee Hill residents – cleanup work starts tomorrow at the former Dakota Substation. This is one of the “surplus” ex-substation sites whose fate has yet to be decided. Here’s the official announcement we received:

Seattle City Light will start work this week to cleanup the former substation located at 4918 SW Dakota Street. The work is expected to take approximately 2-3 weeks to complete. Planned work will remove soil, debris and some vegetation due to contamination. Pesticide contamination at the site is many times higher than the state’s required cleanup level. This work will not involve planned electrical outages.

Removal of soils in treed areas of the property is necessary; however, City Light plans to preserve the trees in these areas. To protect tree roots, City Light will use vactor trucks to remove the contaminated soil. The vactoring technique has been successful at each of the sites in which City Light has used it, including the Fauntleroy site in West Seattle. The utility has received recognition and thanks from community members for the successful protection of the trees on the Fauntleroy site.

Work will include operation of heavy equipment such as backhoes, dump trucks and vactor trucks. This vactor soil removal process will result in louder noise levels than conventional methods of excavation. Noise studies have been performed on this type of work and have indicated that sound levels are considered safe for residents near the work site.

A communications rep for the project tells WSB that notices have been circulated to neighbors already via e-mail, and that door-hanger notification is under way too. The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, which began as a West Seattle-based group but has expanded to a citywide focus, has been working to find ways to keep sites like this one saved as open space.

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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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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 demolition watch: Genesee Hill school; 4535 44th SW apartment site http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-demolition-watch-genesee-hill-school-4535-44th-sw-apartment-site/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-demolition-watch-genesee-hill-school-4535-44th-sw-apartment-site/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:37:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285042 Two updates on West Seattle demolition sites:

GENESEE HILL SCHOOL: After a tip last Friday, we noted that some deconstruction was under way at the former Genesee Hill Elementary campus, where the current Schmitz Park Elementary program will move in 2016. Today, building teardown is under way in a big way, starting with the classrooms north/northeast of the main structure. That’s about one day behind the start of a similar phase at Arbor Heights Elementary, where Seattle Public Schools is also tearing down an old school to build a new one.

4535 44TH SW: While in The Junction a short time ago, we noticed the backhoe has arrived at 4535 44th SW, future home of a four-story, 36+-unit, no-offstreet-parking apartment building; we’d noted last week that its demolition permit was granted.

While it was described as “microapartments” when we first reported on the plan early last year, this is NOT microhousing – the units will be full-fledged studios with kitchens. (We’ll check back in a bit to see if the backhoe has started work yet.)

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West Seattle schools: Demolition begins at Genesee Hill http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-schools-demolition-begins-at-genesee-hill/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-schools-demolition-begins-at-genesee-hill/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 18:19:04 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284682

Thanks to Fiona for the tip: Demolition has begun at the other new-elementary-school site in West Seattle, on Genesee Hill. No backhoe-biting-into-building activity yet, as of our visit – as you can see in the photo, some bricks have been removed from the front of the school along SW Genesee, and we noted backhoes on the back side (north). This is the future home of the program currently at Schmitz Park Elementary; Seattle Public Schools has said that building will become an “early-learning center” once the new elementary opens. According to this history page from the district website, Genesee Hill Elementary was open 1948-1988 before its first closure; the building was reopened in 1994 for the alternative school that became Pathfinder K-8, which was housed there until GH was closed one final time in 2009.

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Another ruling: Appeal rejected, Genesee Hill school plan affirmed http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-ruling-in-appeal-rejected-genesee-hill-school-plan-affirmed/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-ruling-in-appeal-rejected-genesee-hill-school-plan-affirmed/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 22:46:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282440 One month after we reported on an appeal hearing set for aspects of the Genesee Hill Elementary School project, the decision has just been made public: The appeal has been rejected. Appellants included a half-dozen area residents and school-district watchdog Chris Jackins, challenging/questioning project components including the zoning exception for the school’s height, where the bulk of its building will be placed on the site, plans for on-street school-bus loading, and the amount of on-site off-street parking. We were not able to cover the appeal hearing held downtown eight days ago, but its points and the Hearing Examiner’s findings are recapped in the decision document – see it here. Next, we’ll be checking with Seattle Public Schools regarding their timetable for starting work on the new school.

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Appeal hearing set for school project on Genesee Hill http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/appeal-hearing-set-for-school-project-on-genesee-hill/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/appeal-hearing-set-for-school-project-on-genesee-hill/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:57:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279353

Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin from the city brings the formal notice of an appeal hearing for the new school to be built on the five-years-closed Genesee Hill Elementary site. The appellants, including district watchdog Chris Jackins and more than half a dozen local residents, are not challenging the entire project; they object to aspects including the zoning exception for the school’s height, where the bulk of its building will be placed on the site, plans for on-street school-bus loading, and the amount of parking (71 spaces might not be enough, they say). The appeal hearing is set for 9 am August 5th in the Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown; it’s open to the public (for observation but not comment). Some preparation work already has been done on the site, but demolition is still to come.

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New Genesee Hill school: Demolition not expected before summer http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/new-genesee-hill-school-demolition-not-expected-before-summer/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/new-genesee-hill-school-demolition-not-expected-before-summer/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:23:25 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=271974

(Rendering of new elementary at Genesee Hill site)
After several inquiries about the status/timeline for demolition at Genesee Hill Elementary – to be replaced by an all-new school – we checked with Seattle Public Schools. Tom Redman, who handles communications for SPS projects like this, says they’re not ready to set the date for demolition to begin yet, because they’re still finalizing permits:

The hazardous materials abatement and the archaeological survey have been completed. The building bid package was completed and advertised, followed by the pre-bid conference. The Master Use Permit (MUP) is being reviewed by the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development. The contractor is scheduled to begin work this summer, pending appropriate permit approval by the city.

The bids are listed here (a bit lower than the estimate) – but the official winning bidder hasn’t been announced yet.

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New Genesee Hill school: No, it’s not demolition time yet http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/new-genesee-hill-school-no-its-not-demolition-time-yet/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/new-genesee-hill-school-no-its-not-demolition-time-yet/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:54:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268707 One neighbor reported that it looks like demolition is near at the old Genesee Hill Elementary – slated for replacement with a brand-new school – but it’s not happening yet, according to Seattle Public SchoolsTom Redman. He explained what IS happening right now:

We are not beginning demolition yet. We are currently abating/removing hazardous material from the existing building. We are also doing an archeological survey, based on the State Dept. of Archeological and Historical Preservation maps.

Also, per City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, we are doing required testing for pin pile foundation load test, which means we are driving a test pile into the soil and checking subsurface load capacity. This will give us an idea of what the planned foundation pilings can support beyond standard loads.

Background information about the new school is here. The old building has been closed for almost five years.

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Genesee campus tree makes history: ‘Best in City’ honor http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/genesee-campus-tree-makes-history-best-in-city-honor/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/genesee-campus-tree-makes-history-best-in-city-honor/#comments Sat, 12 Oct 2013 21:15:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=252629

Admiring the fall colors this weekend? A visit to the past-and-future school site on Genesee Hill (50th SW/SW Genesee) might be in order – to pay your respects to that American Elm honored as a “Best in City” tree in PlantAmnesty‘s Heritage Tree program. Karen Lyons shares the photo and the news:

I belong to a group that is trying to save some of the fine trees on the school’s 6.2 acres. I’m the group’s botanist so I volunteered to take a tree survey last year and found a magnificent American Elm! The majority of American Elms in the US were wiped out by Dutch Elm disease. Somehow this tree is either immune (making it valuable for research) or has escaped the disease. I later contacted the Heritage Tree committee and they sent a group of 6 investigators to measure and take samples of the Elm. That was a few months ago. On October 1st I received this letter naming this tree and awarding it as “Best In The City”. It will be spared!

District documentation verifies that the tree will not be taken out during the construction of the new school – from last month’s summary of the newest design changes: “The steep hillside on the site will be fully protected, as will the significant and exceptional trees on the hillside (including the old elm near the center of the site).” The district expects to start construction next spring; the current Schmitz Park school program is expected to move into the new school at mid-year 2015-2016, while the district proposes to turn the current Schmitz Park building into an early-learning center.

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More portable classrooms on the move from Genesee Hill http://westseattleblog.com/2013/08/more-portable-classrooms-on-the-move-from-genesee-hill/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/08/more-portable-classrooms-on-the-move-from-genesee-hill/#comments Tue, 27 Aug 2013 23:03:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=162161 Heads up – more portable classrooms are being moved, early tomorrow and early Thursday. From Tom Redman at Seattle Public Schools:

The last of our portable moves from Genesee Hill are scheduled as follows:

8/28/13 before 6 am- 1 single from Genesee Hill to Jane Addams

8/29/13 before 6 am- 1 single from Genesee Hill to Jane Addams

SPS and its contractors are following the SDOT requirement for these structures to be moved off-site in the early morning hours in order to comply with SDOT’s requirement to be off the road by SDOT’s 6am truck traffic restriction hour. This results in the entire to and from transport needing to be completed by 6 am.

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Another neighborhood-council meeting ahead: Genesee-Schmitz http://westseattleblog.com/2013/08/another-neighborhood-council-meeting-ahead-genesee-schmitz/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/08/another-neighborhood-council-meeting-ahead-genesee-schmitz/#comments Tue, 13 Aug 2013 02:14:52 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=160855 On Sunday, we previewed three neighborhood-council meetings happening this week and next – North Delridge Neighborhood Council (under way right now), Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (tomorrow night), and the second meeting of the revived Junction Neighborhood Council (August 20th). Tonight, another one to add to the list: This Thursday, the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council meets, with two major items on the agenda: The future of the 50th/Dakota substation site (one of six West Seattle sites the city is reviewing), and the small-lot-development issue that’s affected neighborhoods including Benchview (which recently saw both a court victory and a re-filing). You are welcome to attend the GSNC meeting at 7 pm Thursday (August 15th) at West Side Presbyterian Church (3601 California SW).

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