The prospect of more Seattle Public Schools closures in West Seattle has been hinted at during the now-under-way process of discussing the future of the Denny Middle School site — the district has said a “future elementary school” may be built there, but not as an additional school, instead as a replacement for three as-yet-unspecified schools to be closed. Now (hat tip to saveseattleschools.blogspot.com) the district has put up webpages about closure discussions (superintendent’s message here, FAQ here). More details could emerge by next Wednesday, when school-board members have a work session and special meeting regarding “capacity management,” which would include school closures. Here’s an excerpt from what’s now on the SPS website:
SPS has operated for many years with substantially more capacity than needed for the number of students enrolled; and we have more school buildings than other districts with comparable student populations. Many of these buildings are costly to maintain due to their age and amount of deferred maintenance.
The most recent Seattle Public Schools building closure in West Seattle was Fairmount Park Elementary, shut down at the end of the school year in 2007. If age is to be a factor in school-closure proposals, it’s worth noting the age of West Seattle school buildings that have not gone through recent renovations: Part of Gatewood Elementary dates back almost a century and has city landmark designation; Lafayette Elementary‘s buildings date back to 1941-1953; Arbor Heights Elementary‘s buildings were built between 1948 and 1958; Alki Elementary’s buildings are from 1954 and 1967; Roxhill Elementary opened in 1958; Schmitz Park Elementary opened in 1962; Sanislo Elementary opened in 1970. Next Wednesday’s School Board meeting is in two sessions, a 3-7 pm “workshop,” and 8 pm “special legislative session,” both at district HQ in Sodo.