Denny-Sealth updates from tonight’s school-board meeting

UPDATE #1: As has been the case for the past several meetings, the public-comment period at the start of the meeting was dominated by testimony from merged-campus opponents. The board’s in a brief break now, with what’s been described as a “presentation” and “discussion” yet to come on items including the formal introduction of the superintendent’s recommendation that the board approve Option 2. More to come; it’s live on cable channel 26. UPDATE #2, ADDED 9:55 PM: The Denny-Sealth presentation/discussion took more than an hour and a half.

The presentation was the same Power Point shown at the meetings @ Chief Sealth last night and last week (you can find the links here), with the additional explanation (outlined in the documents accompanying tonight’s agenda) of where the “extra $10 million” for Sealth under Option 2 would come from — mostly water and air projects at Summit K-12 and Salmon Bay. Most of the board members had comments and questions, but almost none of it focused on Option 3 (rebuilding Denny on its current site), aside from board member Sherry Carr wanting to know where the additional $5 million (beyond Option 2’s price tag) would come from.

West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist reiterated many of his comments from last night, including the fact he’s “leaning toward” Option 2, and that he would support a full-time police officer on the co-located campus to help alleviate security concerns; board member Michael DeBell seconded him on that; board member Mary Bass said she could imagine every high school in the city wanting one, if that happened. (She also noted she had not supported the original plan putting the Denny-Sealth project on last year’s BEX III ballot in the first place.)

Next steps: Last chance to get in your 2 cents about which way you want to see board members vote; their contact info is here. The final vote is scheduled for Feb. 27; district staff has said repeatedly that no matter what happens, Sealth students will be moving into Boren for 2 years starting this fall.

25 Replies to "Denny-Sealth updates from tonight's school-board meeting"

  • Moonflower February 13, 2008 (10:42 pm)

    Thank you so much for providing us with this report.

    I was at the 34th District Democrats meeting tonight and the “Resolution that the 34th District Democratics Support the Westwood Neighborhood Council and School Staff in seeking to participate in a authentic public process for all stakeholders” passed.

    Perhaps someone from the 34th District Dems has it electronically to post.

  • jim y. February 13, 2008 (11:09 pm)

    Bait and switch,take the tax payers for as much as we can!! Sent flyers to enrolled parents? What a joke. We all voted on school levy because of the voters pamphlet not the flyer. New board member can’t get an answer from board, what’s with that?

  • WSB February 14, 2008 (7:02 am)

    Moonflower, we just got a copy and will put up an additional post linking to it a little bit later – have to run out of the house (and therefore away from the computer) for a while. Jim’s comment reminds us there were a few more notes from last night too.

  • Charlie Mas February 14, 2008 (7:19 am)

    Why is it that the District can blow the budget on Roosevelt by $20-30 million and exceed the projected costs on Garfield by $30-40 million without batting an eye, but can’t tolerate a $15 million cost overrun on the Sealth work? Talk about inequity!

    Why not just sprinkle the Sealth project with the same magic pixie dust as these other projects, approve Option 3, and call the extra $15 million expense a “cost overrun”.

    At the same meeting that the Board made a show of taking an interest in the Sealth project and pretended to seriously consider public input and Option 3, they approved yet another cost overrun for Garfield ($2.7 million this time) without any discussion whatsoever.

    Why are some projects allowed to blow their budgets and some projects are expected to hold the line on theirs? Did anyone tell Garfield “Sorry, but you’ll just have to do less; we aren’t spending anymore than we allocated for this job?” I don’t think so. No one said it to Roosevelt either, but that’s what they’re saying to Sealth. How is this equitable?

  • Charlie Mas February 14, 2008 (7:59 am)

    The budget for Nathan Hale (also a BEX III project) was recently increased from $77 million to $84 million without any discussion, comment, or question. And that’s before any planning has been started. What more increases for Hale will get the same unconditional approval?

    Why the easy approval of another $7 million for them and all of this struggle over $15 million for Sealth? Why no such indulgence for Sealth?

  • Ms. R February 14, 2008 (11:06 am)

    The school Board web site touts the following academic benefit for the co-located campus.

    “New Rigorous Academic Offerings: As a part of the new plan, Project Lead the Way, a pre-engineering course will be made available to both Denny and Sealth students. This program meets the most updated best practices for career and technical education. Other possibilities include expanded world language offerings, which will help prepare all of our students for our global economy. The added rigorous course offerings given to our students thanks to a co-located campus will better prepare them as learners and also as college applicants.”

    Please see the attached evidence below on PLTW program. As a scientist, I like the idea of PLTW, but we have to ask if it is the “right” program for our students. As one can see from the PLTW Annual Report that the program has under-representation of minority students in the program by classroom even in schools with high minority representation in the community. What data has the district used to determine that a PLTW classroom will provide academic gains for our students? The PLTW report itself asks the question if Project Lead the Way is an option only for students that would already be performing at a high academic level.

    Data taken from PLTW Annual Report 2006-2007.
    PLTW was in 43 states (students > 5000) either as stand alone classrooms (proposed Seattle model) or as school focus centers. For a state-by-state analysis, a plot of African American Student enrollment shows over-representation in PLTW schools and under-representation in PLTW classrooms.
    For Hispanic students, most states have 0-25% Hispanic students, but Hispanic students are underrepresented in PLTW programs, especially in states with large Hispanic representation. In an analysis of PLTW schools, the represented schools were slightly more affluent than US schools on average. Project Lead the way classrooms had a 15% female enrollment rate 2006-2007.
    The numbers for 2006-2007 were White 68%, Asian 3%, Black 11% and Hispanic 8%.
    Chief Sealth High School is composed of approximately 25% white, black, Asian and Hispanic ethnicities.
    Test Results on PLTW exams by % Free and Reduced Lunch, show that the greater the number of students at the school who are on free or reduced lunch, the more poorly they do on the PLTW exams.
    85 %Students at most schools took only one project lead the way class in their high school career.

    I am not sure on what data or best practice research the decision to include PLTW (an expensive program)to the combined schools was based. Again, while I think PLTW is an admirable program, the district needs to make sure they are making a sound decision to include this program based on the demographics of the schools and the students. I am not sure that any thought went into the cost of the PLTW class versus the academic benefit for the Sealth/Denny population.

    We need engaging academic programs for the majority of the students who need extra academic support. Perhaps that means rather than a PLTW lab, we need more computer labs for math simulations and writing assignments. Maybe it means some expanded career training options that lead toward technical apprenticeships like the ACE program. Can we trust that PLTW is the best program for the funds that the district can find?

  • Marlene Allbright February 14, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    I just want to comment on Melissa Westbrook’s moving and compelling testimony in front of the Board last night. She has done her homework on BEX III and the Denny-Sealth debacle, and told the unadulterated truth. How the Board can disavow the facts and continue to spin this fairy tale, (and as Charlie says, sprinkle magic dust) is completely incomprehensible.

  • Indaknow February 14, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    Ms R
    You make some very good points about PLTW.
    Test Results on PLTW exams by % Free and Reduced Lunch, show that the greater the number of students at the school who are on free or reduced lunch, the more poorly they do on the PLTW exams.
    Important to remember that 61% of the Sealth student population qualifies for free/reduced lunch (district stats, Fall 2007).

  • Dan Dempsey February 14, 2008 (11:51 pm)

    Melissa was awesome. Honest Open Rational Decision making does not happen in the SPS. I had great hopes for Sundquist, Carr, and Harium, but my hopes are beginning to fade. If the board slam dunks this one, it makes me think that perhaps all those big campaign contributions will be influencing the sale of the Queen Anne gym and what will be happening to the old Denny site down the road a few years after the co-location.

    One thing about the SPS they can make mistakes faster than I can keep up. Thanks be to God for Melissa, Charlie, and crew.

  • Charlie Mas February 15, 2008 (10:38 am)

    There continue to be a number of troubling inconsistencies in the statements from the District staff. For example, the presentation makes it absolutely clear that the tennis courts and athletic field will be replaced. The answers to the questions, however, throw it into doubt.

    When asked why Option 3 creates a 24 month delay, the staff responds:

    “If Denny were moved first, Denny would wait two years at their current site in order for the district to obtain the permits necessary and draw up new architectural plans (2008/9 to 2009/10).”

    This statement doesn’t make sense. The delay for plans and permits isn’t the amount of time it takes for plans and permits. The delay is the amount of time they have already spent on them. The delay would only be 24 months if they had already completed the process and had to start all over. That’s not the case.

    According to the BEX III Master Schedule, the planning and permitting for Denny Sealth started in June of 2007 and will take 16 months (not 24 as they claim), until October of 2008. If the whole 16 month process were to start over in February of 2008 it would finish just eight months later than currently scheduled – not 24 months later. And that presumes that none of the work already done will be of use to shorten the process.

    Moreover, since the planning and permitting for the demolition of the current building is unchanged, there is no reason for that work to be delayed. There is no reason that work can’t get started before the planning and permitting for the construction work is complete. In short, there shouldn’t be much delay at all – if any.

    This claim of a 24 month delay doesn’t make any sense. They are only eight months into the process, so the delay of restarting would only be eight months at most.

    And these delays are predicated on the use of the Accelerated Schedule adopted in October of 2007. Wouldn’t the delay be less if the schedule had not been accelerated?

    I continue to marvel at the difference in attitude regarding cost overruns at Garfield and Hamilton versus the potential additional cost associated with Option 3. Additional spending on Sealth and Denny are debated as if the Board members were paying it out of their own pockets – they will only do it if they are confronted with some overwhelming need. Yet they approve cost overruns on other BEX projects without a moment’s thought or a feather of resistence. How far over budget – the original budget – was Roosevelt? How far over budget has Garfield been? Costs for Hamilton have risen dramatically since it was first proposed and approved. The projected costs for the Nathan Hale renovation was recently revised from $77 million to $84 million even before the planning has started and it was done without any discussion at all. All of these other schools’ projects can see increases in their costs and no asks any questions, makes any comments, or demands any rationale, but look at the torture they create to increase spending at Sealth. Why is additional spending at Sealth held to a higher standard than additional spending at other schools?

    Some might say that the additional spending at other schools came when the scope of the work changed. It’s like when you go to pull up a floor and find the joists underneath are rotten and have to be replaced, even though replacing them wasn’t part of the original plan. I think the situation at Sealth is the same. They went to do the work and discovered something rotten underneath – only instead of misjudging the floor they misjudged the community. The human factors were mis-estimated. Why would human factors not have the same standing – why wouldn’t they have a HIGHER standing – than the physical factors? Human factors only have a lower standing if you put a lower value on human factors.

    We need to make an investment in our people as much – or more – as we need to make an investment in our physical plant. And sometimes that investment is measured in dollars.

  • Doug February 15, 2008 (10:25 pm)

    I don’t understand why you would want to tear down Denny a year before you can start construction of a new building. It will probably take at least a year to redesign the new Denny (and after reading all these blogs, probably 10 or 20 years to get the design approved by every neighbor and their dog). You can’t just drag the other building design across the street.
    1) The civil drawings,the side sewer drawings and the soils reports will all have to be redone. There may need to be added soils shoring which is no small job.
    2) There will have to be minor if not major changes in the design of the building to fit a different landscape.
    3) It will probably be in the best interest of the school to take a new look at the design and traffic flow and exits and entrances since it will no longer be attached to another building. If you are going to build something to be around for 50 or 100 years it will we be well worth the extra time and effort to update and/or redesign the building.
    4) There are shared parts of Denny Sealth that will need to be added to Denny such as kitchen, dining, library etc…
    5) If the needed time is not given to the design team to make these changes it could be very costly to the district in change orders due to problems in the contract drawings. The costs will probably come in both money and time of completion. Will that make us more equal to some of the other high schools if we have similar cost over runs like they did?
    The other important factor is that Sealth is in dire need of a new boiler and more importantly seismic upgrade. That may be an important enough issue in itself to require a shut down of Sealth whether we build a new one or not. From my understanding of the facts, even with option 3 Sealth has to move out first for safety reasons which means two years before Denny could move into Boren.
    Do we really want to risk the lives of our kids while some of us continue to play hardball negotiations to get the best school building in the city? At the very best that seems childish and irrational to me.

  • Debbie February 16, 2008 (8:35 am)

    Isn’t it interesting that when this merged campus idea was first presented to our school community and we were concerned about our loss of athletic fields, we were told that Denny would be torn down and a new “state of the art” athletic complex would take its place. Of course, none of that was put in writing. Wouldn’t want the legal department to have to defend something that apparently was never really a part of the districts diabolical plan.

    Yes, I truly believe that there is evil afoot. Call me paranoid, call me distrusting. It all amounts to the same thing. Someone somewhere has a huge stake in Denny & Sealth merging and the truth won’t be seen until those that hold the power think we have all forgotten how we came to be in this place.

    Too bad I can’t interest some ace investigative reporter to blow the lid off this before February 27.

  • Marlene Allbright February 16, 2008 (1:04 pm)

    I wish you could Debbie. I have special ed students who have Adaptive P.E. We don’t have access to the gym, and the Adaptive P.E. teacher takes them to the tennis courts for various activities.They really look forward to going to the courts, and they are very close so they can walk there without any problem, Adaptive P.E. is written in their I.E.P. (Individual Education Program), which makes it a federal mandate for them to have P.E.
    I don’t know where they’ll go after the merger.
    It is such a shame that we will lose those wonderful facilities.

  • Indaknow February 16, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    Why is the district making such a HUGE deal over the boiler and seismic retrofit? Madison Middle School (which was really in scary shape, 3 stories tall, and filled with students) got through the Nisqually earthquake. So did lots an lots of “old code” buildings without a problem. We live in earthquake country but how many of you have seismically upgrades on your homes?? I am not pretending that a big earthquake wouldn’t be a problem, but does that risk constitute the phrase “risking the lives of kids”? At the meeting 2/4 the theme of the night from the district was “academic benefits”. A week later at the WNC meeting 2/12 it seemed to shift to “potential academic benefits” and how “dangerous” Sealth is without seismic upgrades and “the boiler that seemingly is going to die any minute”. The district doesn’t seem so concerned about the LEAD in the water pipes in all of the grade schools that are the same age as Sealth. Isn’t the district scared for all the little children in the grade schools all over the city that haven’t had seismic upgrades yet? What about the water/air quality issues that were going to be fixed at Summit and Salmon Bay (but now won’t). Weren’t they important? Weren’t the boilers in the other remodeled schools (Ballard, West Seattle, Garfield….) even older when they were replaced?

  • Doug February 17, 2008 (5:53 pm)

    Indaknow, Do you have any specific evidence indicating the need to question the validity of the engineering concerns in regards to the seismic upgrades needed at Sealth or any of the other schools in Seattle? If so it would be critical that you bring those out into the public view ASAP. The safety of our students has always been first and foremost in this whole conversation. The deficiencies in the structure are pretty obvious, concrete and irrefutable, relative to our current understanding of geology and structural engineering. I hope you are not throwing out red flags and crying wolf just to make a point. Safety of public buildings such as schools are not only critical to the students and staff that may occupy them during an earthquake or other catastrophe but after the event they are also a refuge for all the victims in the area of that building. I sincerely hope our school board does not lose sight of the most critical issues such as the life safety issues.

  • Steve Taylor February 17, 2008 (11:32 pm)

    Being and industrial plumbing and pipe fitting contractor, who has many years working with and around industrial boilers. I challenge anyone to actually state what is so very terribly, dire wrong with the Chief Sealth Boiler?!!! If such a condition existed, the Seattle Boiler Inspector would have already had it shut down! Ask Duwayne Young, Chief Sealth Head Custodian what he knows of the Chief Sealth Boiler and it’s operation? Duwayne Young monitors the boiler at least five days a week. The boiler is fine, appurtenance equipment are the actual problem/s. Seismic issues. What a scare tactic! Chief Sealth has stood unscathed through every earth quake, only receiving minimal cracks that structurally amount to nothing since 1957. How many of us live in homes constructed prior to the over engineered construction requirements of the City of Seattle, say pre 1990? Are we tearing down our houses because they are a bit older? Are we tearing down our houses when we remodel? How many of us who would enjoy a new home actually tear down our home? More often than not we remodel as we can afford / desire. Do we want our children in danger? Of course not, however we send them to school everyday in these dire to earth quake failure constructed schools everyday… One story schools have little trouble in earthquakes. Chief Sealth’s lower floors are more like bomb shelters. Ask the contractor/s who worked one the remodeling of the basement classrooms how difficult the remodeling work was because of how stout Chief Sealth was originally constructed… Learn what the real issues are, and what the real problems are? Then decide where money should be spent and how. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

  • Steve Taylor February 18, 2008 (12:55 am)

    Here is another one for you. After the last big wind storm however long ago it was when electrical power was out all over areas of West Seattle (really the entire North West), Chief Sealth was without electrical power, even though Chief Sealth has a stand alone electrical generator designed to power the school during and after such emergencies. However in classic District maintenance fashion the generator did not work! Gee, just when you truly need it, it does not work. There is another fine example of District maintenance of “our” facilities. For those who need facts, regardless of in what form, ask Principal Boyd if such is true regarding the Generator? It is. You may find it is what does not make the news that really is news. Why hasn’t the BEX III issue made much news? Curious… Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

  • Steve Taylor February 18, 2008 (1:36 am)

    The Side Sewer Drawings as “needed” are all on-line, one of the helpful things the City of Seattle has succeeded at and if that link does not work for you try and put in the street address for Denny as required 8402 30th Ave. S.W. More information regarding sanitary sewers and storm sewers than the average home owner possibly ever knew existed, or even cared about. However quite handy to someone like myself. Try looking up your own street address and learn what you can about your own side sewer. Some information simply does not need to be reinvented, however it seems to be on a regular basis. History, seems to be a subject many have a difficult time learning, or learning from. I suggest viewing the “Front of Card” and “Back of Card” to possibly gleam some Side Sewer Insights. Where do you think the Engineering Firms get their information from that they turn around and charge the Seattle School District for regarding Side Sewer or Storm Sewer Drawings? No one knows Seattle’s Side Sewer and Storm Sewer Drawing’s better than the City of Seattle, even though recently they seemingly screwed up the management of the Side Sewer’s, not to many years ago. A whole other sad story of the incompetent making decisions over the competent all in yet another effort to justify their employment existence. What a system! Even site specific drawings are no monumental effort. The plumber/s have their own mechanical / plumbing drawings usually provided by a civil engineer who more often than not is not completely familiar with local pluming codes (they are engineers, not plumbers), thereafter more often than not the plans are thrown out by the plumbing project manager on site and done how the “in field” professionals do their work (hence the term As Built Drawings, however they are hardly ever completed, or completed correctly), thereafter the plumbing / side sewers inspected and approved by the local plumbing and side sewer inspector/s. Such engineering plans make great job site lunch table cloths for construction workers however. Just so you know, such is often a common scenario. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

  • Doug February 18, 2008 (4:44 am)

    Steve, I have never, ever seen any management on a job site throw out the drawings and build it there way.
    The city drawings just show what is already there not what you are going to build. Like it or not these drawings have to be done, reviewed and cross referenced with all the other utilities in the building and on and around the property. I constantly have to battle with people on the site who build things the way they see fit and not per the drawing, then having to do rework or having things re engineered. Yes, we do as-builts due to mistakes or unforeseen circumstances, not to show we know more than the engineers and inspectors. You make it sound as if we are building a dog house.
    The lack of moneys for maintaining our schools is very troubling to me and one more reason that saving money has to be a major consideration in the process.
    There are major differences in the requirements for private residential buildings and major public buildings, for safety reasons. You are right we don’t tear down our house, we remodel. We usually take care of safety concerns first. Fix the handrails, better lighting, attach the house to the foundation, fix furnaces where the flue is leaking into our house, etc…
    I still support option 2. With the support of the community as a whole including both staffs I feel it could provide a good safe learning environment for our kids.

  • Indaknow February 18, 2008 (10:26 am)

    Good Morning Doug
    My earlier post was trying to point out how the theme at the meetings with the public and district has evolved over the past few weeks. Theme #1- The public voted for this co-location THEN
    Theme #2- We (the district/administrators) didn’t do such a great job with public discussion/communication but we are doing it anyway…
    Theme #3- We are doing this because of the “Academic Benefits”
    Theme #4-We are doing this because of the “Potential Academic Benefits” and because of the serious “safety issues” at Sealth

    My arguement is not that Sealth does not need upgrades, but that the district (not me) is raising “red flags and crying wolf” to get what it wants-Option 2.

    I do not work in construction. My husband owns and operates his own small construction company. ALL of his contracts are with private businesses or government municipalities. Because of this I do know about codes, blueprints and how scopes of work change over time. I also know that tax-payer funded jobs tend to have a lot of “fat” built in. They are not as careful with their money. They tend to exaggerate need to justify what they want. This fact (from my experiences) helped my form my opinion not as you stated earlier “any specific evidence indicating the need to question the validity of the engineering concerns in regards to the seismic upgrades needed at Sealth or any of the other schools in Seattle”.

  • Steve Taylor February 18, 2008 (5:16 pm)

    Doug, I know full well “we do not throw out the plans”. However at least when it comes to mechanical plans, more often than not for a building as simple as a school, mechanical drawings are a joke! Structural, Elevation, Floor Plans, all go without much question. However an engineer trying to draw an exact piping detail is a joke! I suspect you know as much. Yes there are good reasons engineers provide at least some of the information they do. However where and why are far more important in some facets of the construction phase than in others. Here is a boiler fact for you; I spent today working at a very large church / parochial school in Tacoma, whose steam boiler is 82 years old and still in working order. Not as efficient as modern steam boilers, however still working fine with no immediately projected doom. Steam boilers, or even hot water boilers are effectively “bombs” in control, properly operated and maintained so they never become a “bomb”. Catastrophic boiler failures usually result in at least one death, and cause significant residual damages. No one ever wants to see such a failure. Consequently most all commercial / industrial boilers are at least inspected annually by the property owners insurance company. As no insurance company wants to write a check because of a catastrophic boiler failure. If the Chief Sealth Boiler was so in dire of failure, it would not be in operation! Unless incompetent personnel are reassuring the boiler is fine; the boiler inspector, whomever they represent. Appurtenance equipment is another issue, and Duwayne Young has stated that is where the Chief Sealth Heating system is failing / in need of repair. Also pointing out the District BEX III, option 1 at least, and possibly option 2 is planning on leaving much of the appurtenance equipment, only installing a new boiler… What will Chief Sealth really gain? Possibly you and I should have an in depth look at some plans? In such an effort I will stick predominantly to what I know best, pipes. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

  • Steve Taylor February 18, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    A little more boiler information. I am not saying it would not be a completely bad idea to update the Chief Sealth Boiler. However using the tactic that the Chief Sealth Boiler is on it’s last legs, living on borrowed time, etc. is simply another scare tactic by the District to motivate those (most of our population) who are not familiar with boilers, that Chief Sealth is in dire need of a new boiler. Boilers are “torn down” annually and visually inspected rather thoroughly. Thereafter a boiler is reassembled (only minimally torn down, and designed for such) and put back in service. There are several components that are replaced irregardless of their apparent condition, even if they look brand new – they are replaced every year. Such is how important it is to properly maintain any boiler, steam or hot water. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

  • Doug February 18, 2008 (8:53 pm)

    Indaknow, I see the changes in the focus of the meetings as a rational response to the points raised by the public. Each time there is meeting there are some new people and new questions and concerns. The fact that the focus is changing indicates, to me, that the district is listening and trying to respond. People may not agree with the responses but that is a different issue.
    Over the past twenty or so years I have grown increasingly weary of the ‘lack of trust’ and constant comments about ‘the greedy or irresponsible’ public servants. I will not argue the fact that we have had a few bad apples but I don’t feel that makes the whole bunch rotten. The people involved in running the district will live up to our expectations as any of us would do.
    I have never known any intentional ‘padding’ of money on public jobs. I am not saying it doesn’t happen, I just don’t see it as a systemic problem.
    I have seen jobs make a lot of money and lose a lot of money, usually from unforeseen circumstances in either case. I have worked in some communities where there have been some struggles with the inspectors, plans reviewers, police etc… but Seattle has not been one of them. For the most part they have been very professional. That doesn’t mean I have been with out my frustrations in dealing with them.
    I have done some installation of seismic upgrades on large buildings and I feel it is critical we address that issue in a timely matter. My concern is that many people reading these may be feeling a false sense of security with the current state of the building. We were very, very lucky people were not killed during the Nisqually quake especially with the damage to so many chimneys and parapet walls that were not reinforced. In my experience in the construction trade false sense of safety or security is much worse than none.

  • Doug February 18, 2008 (9:35 pm)

    Steve, why did you say something about throwing the plans out if you didn’t mean it. Many people do not have vast knowledge of construction of public buildings and they are counting on the information gained from experienced people. It is important that we try not to misinform people at a time when they have great concerns about this issue, from either side.
    If I did mention anything about the boiler it was a while back and pretty insignificant. My main concern is that the seismic upgrade get done even if we do nothing else at all. You have expressed much concern about the safety of our kids so I can’t for the life of me understand why you insist we should ignore this issue.
    I understand you may be able to get the boiler to last a few more years, but at what cost, financial or otherwise? I do not want to have to pull the students out of the school again in 5 or 10 years to do the boiler because we refuse to look long term. You are right I do not know a tremendous amount about boilers and the piping but it seems to me they have to change the boiler when the kids are not there. The appurtenances probably can be changed a bit at a time, probably during summer months by scaling the projects to fit that schedule.
    Almost all of the trades come to our office with drawings to work out as many conflicts as possible before we start construction. The ceiling spaces and crawl spaces in multistory buildings are pretty limited these days so all of the trades work hard to stick to the drawings to avoid the added costs of redoing their work. If there is a change to the drawings then they get paid for that work, otherwise it is on their dime.

  • Steve Taylor February 19, 2008 (10:36 am)

    Doug, most any “package boiler” replacement (what Chief Sealth would likely receive) is a project that can be done over a Summer. Granted likely a fair amount of work, however achievable none the less. Likely the greatest reasons for legitimate boiler replacement at Chief Sealth are: Combustion efficiency, and licensing requirements of whom maintains the boiler. The trade reference “German Engineer – Auto, like automated / automatic” is not capable of everything a boiler requires in the name of maintenance. Consequently individuals who hold higher licensing requirements are required to maintain different sizes and types of boilers. The life span of the Chief Sealth Boiler is likely doing just fine. Truly only a thorough annual inspection report by an unbiased inspector or group could state any life cycle projections of the Chief Sealth Boiler, or any other boiler for that matter. I can only offer experience from working on and around boilers over the last twenty seven plus years. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of large boilers in Seattle alone. They are just not normally a topic of common conversation for the majority of our population. As far as “throwing plans out the window”, such is more of a figure of speech, as I believe most people understand. Obviously we utilize and refer to plans, however plans are subject to change, and using the argument that all of the drawings will have to be redone is not as big of a deal as I believe was previously being portrayed. I am not saying that I could not be wrong, however such is often my experience. Back to the most important issue: What is best for our students? We are really off topic when grasping for each and every reason pro or con regarding BEX III any option. We all provide the information we do in order to provide support for our preferred option. I would much rather avoid publicizing all of Chief Sealth and Denny’s less than desirable attributes, however such are many of the reasons I support BEX III, option 3. I have no doubt whatsoever BEX III, options 1 or 2 could work, however I also believe such would only work if only select (selected) students where enrolled at each school. Such is not the case in this case. Such is why I support BEX III, option 3. I suspect most people could agree with me on this who also support BEX III, option 3. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

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