School district staff recommendation: Denny-Sealth Option 2


(rendering as shown at last week’s district-sponsored meeting)
ORIGINAL 3:17 PM REPORT: The agenda for Wednesday’s school board meeting has been updated with the district’s Denny-Sealth recommendation: Option 2, which means combined campuses, but more money, specifically $10 million added for Sealth renovations. This will be officially introduced at the Wednesday board meeting and voted on February 27. 5:10 PM UPDATE: At, Melissa Westbrook breaks down the info on the supplemental agenda documents that lay out where the extra $10 million is to come from. As of this writing, we haven’t seen an official district news release, nor anything new posted on the Sealth or Denny websites, regarding the decision to recommend Option 2, so the agenda info is all that’s on the record at this point. Here’s the direct link; side note of interest, that document from superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson is dated January 31st, so she appears to have made her decision several days before last Tuesday’s public meeting at Sealth (WSB coverage here). Next steps: Tomorrow night (7 pm @ Chief Sealth HS), the Westwood Neighborhood Council has its moderated-panel public meeting regarding the project; Wednesday night, school-board members meet and the Option 2 recommendation will be “introduced”; they will vote yay or nay two weeks later. Since the final say is in their hands, if you want to express an opinion on the newly released recommendation, contacting board members is likely your best course of action; their contact info is here.

7 Replies to "School district staff recommendation: Denny-Sealth Option 2"

  • Huindekmi February 11, 2008 (3:59 pm)

    Wow. Never saw that coming.

  • westello February 11, 2008 (4:51 pm)

    Where to start?
    Always follow the money. The $10M is coming from several places. One, is out of the technology funds voted in as part of the bond measure ($3.5M out of $42). Two, $5M out of BEX III “infrastructure”. I put that in quotes because Facilities does come up with quite a wide variety of names (for example, they like to use renovated, rebuilt, remodelled and you never quite know what they mean under Facilties’ usage). But taking $5M out of any part of BEX III means any project that runs into a real problem, well, either they give up something or Facilities gets the money from yet another place. Because this movement of money takes place quite often, you can never really know where the money goes. Three, $1.5M from the Debt Service fund. This fund is to pay off the Stanford Center which is a huge financial albatross around the district’s neck. (The savings that were promised by this consolidation have never appeared.) That fund should not be touched for this purpose.

    There’s also a lot of spin in this proposal to the Board. Facilities claims that the co-joined idea was voted on by voters (it wasn’t because it wasn’t in the voter’s guide – all the wishing won’t make it so). They also claim financial benefits to co-joining. That’s interesting because the presentation last week didn’t have that in the slides. Why would they not mention it? Would that be because Denny and Sealth will still need separate gyms or because Sealth will eventually be renovated or maybe because they will have to redo work they already did under BEX II to have this particular design? Also, there is one strange sentence:
    Co-location makes available a bonus of levy funds”. Huh? What bonus of funds? Anyone?
    One other interesting thing to ponder for the future. Facilities said, at the BEX Oversight Committee meeting, that Ingraham and Rainier Beach will be renovated sometime in the next 20-25 years (at a cost of $250M but who’s counting). That will be interesting to see who comes first: Sealth, Rainier Beach or Ingraham as they will all “come of age” as the case may be. Oh, and they are spending nearly $90M+ on Hale now but it’s only for a 25-year cycle (not 50 years like Roosevelt or Garfield because, you see, Hale is on a bog and being renovated on the bog and can’t be rebuilt to a 50-year cycle). Hale might even be in the mix 25 years out as well.

  • fiz February 11, 2008 (8:01 pm)

    According to the The Seattle Times on February 10th: “A 2006 report pegged the total repair bill for all 100-plus buildings at $485 million. About $100 million worth of that work will be paid for with last year’s capital levy. The deferred maintenance has “had the effect of moving the district to only the highest-priority items addressed,” said School Board member Michael DeBell. “I think the appearances of the buildings have suffered, and something that is not necessarily immediate or health-and-safety issues still should get done. A lot of that work can only be put off so long before it becomes a health-and-safety issue.”

    How does the Denny-Sealth Option 2, or any option for that matter, fit into a budget-strapped district that cannot or will not maintain its current campuses?

  • Charlie Mas February 11, 2008 (8:58 pm)

    The Board Action Report is rife with lies.

    It says that the merged campus was in the bond vote language – it wasn’t.

    It says that the merged campus has financial benefits for the schools – it doesn’t.

    It says that the merged campus creates a $10 million ‘bonus’ – there is no such thing.

    It purports to describe public engagement, but it only describes public relations. The difference is simple: public engagement is what the public tells the district BEFORE the decision; public relations is what the District tells the public AFTER the decision.

    The new superintendent says that she wants to increase people’s trust in the district. She says that she wants to increase public confidence in the District. Lying is not the way to do that.

    If the Board does not expose these lies for what they are, then the Board is complicit in the lies. Watch to see if any member of the Board challenges any of these tissue-paper lies. This is when we will see how they value the truth and how they enforce accountability. They should know that their credibility is on the line.

  • John Wright February 11, 2008 (9:51 pm)

    Check out page 28 of the McKinsey Report to the Board for the following statistics.
    * 97% of stakeholders asked for increased transparency into the process and decision-makers
    * 87% felt communication was one sided
    * 91% of community members interviewed mentioned that they had no forum to give the District feedback
    This is not data generated by the union to complain about management but in fact was generated by a consulting company hired by management. Wednesday will be a very interesting window into how the new Board will respond to such concerns. I’m wondering if they will recognize that part of why 4 of them whom are new is to a certain point related to the above data from the District website.

  • Moonflower February 12, 2008 (6:33 am)

    Funds spent to date….$2,000,000,000
    “Bonus” money promised….$10,000,000
    Cost for Accountability….Priceless

  • Steve Taylor February 12, 2008 (10:44 am)

    I for one sincerely appreciate the “smart” people expressing themselves on this thread (of course I am not including myself with the above brilliance), as I am to “simple minded” for such. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

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