West Seattle, Washington
The (unofficial) Seattle Public Schools Blog points out that the agenda for this Wednesday’s school board meeting includes a proposal to rename High Point Elementary (photo below) “West Seattle Elementary.” According to the agenda item, this name-changing is by “request of the High Point and Fairmount Park merged elementary schools.” (If you’re just coming in on this saga, the district closed several schools at the end of this past school year, including Fairmount Park, to save $; the students of FP are “merging” into HP.) Historical datapoint: This won’t be the first “West Seattle Elementary School”; the district’s thumbnail history of Lafayette Elementary says it briefly held that name about 90 years ago!
We’ve received reports of several overnight fires blamed on fireworks around WS, but the one in the High Point vicinity was by far the biggest. News coverage includes this P-I article, an update from the Times, and a KIRO update with links to video. We’re glad to hear nobody was hurt, but honestly, this is why personal fireworks are banned in cities like ours. Fun, sure; dangerous and damaging, unquestionably, no matter how hard you try to keep it safe.
One week before Sylvan/Morgan closes to through-traffic between 35th and Delridge for three months of construction-related utility/road work, there’s an “open house” tonight where you can find out the latest on detours, local access, and also more on what’s up with the ongoing High Point-area development: 4:30-6 tonight, High Point Library.
Fun stuff happening midweek on our side of the bay, so here’s an advance alert:
-For family fun: High Point Community Center sponsors Springfest tomorrow.
High Point-to-Delridge drivers, beware: Cindi from the Morgan Community Association alerts us to more upcoming traffic woes; this excerpt is from the latest Morgan Junction e-mail newsletter, quoting the major construction company on the High Point project:
“SW Morgan / Sylvan Way will most likely be closed for a short period (one to two weeks) during late February/early March. This closure is being planned in conjunction with work taking place on an unrelated development east of High Point. This coordination will minimize the impacts to the neighbors and surrounding area. SW Morgan / Sylvan Way will then be temporarily closed for a longer period (several months) this summer to allow for complete rebuild of the roadway and utilities associated with our project. We will provide notification to local residents and businesses and will have a detour route well-indicated. Every effort will be made to minimize the duration of street closures.”
We’ve been asked before about the deplorable condition of Sylvan Way closer to Delridge; Cindi is checking on whether repairs to that stretch might be included in those summer closures.
We might have forgotten to mention this West Seattle traffic tragedy if not for a note we got tonight. A woman riding a bicycle near High Point got hit during the morning commute. I hope the person who wrote me doesn’t mind me using this excerpt — she knows someone related to the victim, but I’ve excised that detail and another personal point:
Early this morning on 35th Ave SW, a 27 year old woman riding north on her bicycle hit a van headed north that turned onto SW Graham in from of her. As she had the right of way, the van driver either didn’t see her or thought he was faster. She’s in Harborview with “life-threatening” injuries. … I’m just thankful my (child) was so entranced by the sight of all of the flashing lights that he didn’t see her bicycle and helmet there on the road.
This makes us think about all the brave folks we see bicycling to work or school or the store, even though we are sadly lacking in bike lanes and other accommodations. Just this morning, Hizzoner stood up and talked about fighting global warming by encouraging more alternative forms of transportation, such as bicycling. Is this just lip service, or will he really make the roads safer for people like this lady who are already trying to do their part?
The new school-closure plan is out, and HP Elementary got cut from the list (PDF document; West Seattle’s moment in the sun starts around page 16). Fairmount Park still has the Grim Reaper hanging around, though. Meantime, since High Point’s not closing, Pathfinder’s looking at a NEW new home — Boren (the current temporary home of Cleveland High, the past temporary home of Madison Middle). If the district manages its assets wisely, I see some lovely new view homes coming to Genesee Hill … they could at least honor the to-be-relocated school by calling the mini-subdivision Pathfinder Pointe, perhaps. Or — will Genesee Hill go the way of its current students’ “new” home, which according to this district info-sheet has been “closed” longer than it’s been open (yet lives on with rotating occupants)?
… but Alki Elementary, which was on the last list, is not one of them. That surprises me, as I’d guess the district would make a mint from selling that land to condo developers.
The ones that did make the list just made public tonight are Fairmount Park and High Point. However, that fancy new-ish building at High Point won’t close — the district wants to move Pathfinder over there.
Maybe the district figured that Genesee Hill real estate is worth more than the Alki land? Better views. More later when the official district docs are out …