PHOTOS: ‘Heading Home’ day at last for Westside School, celebrating new Arbor Heights campus

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
34 years after Westside School (WSB sponsor) was founded, it finally has a permanent home. “Heading Home” was the theme for Saturday’s celebration of the newly completed campus in Arbor Heights, as it has been for the process of making that dream come true, even before work began at the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church 16 months ago. So no mere windstorm was going to stop the party, and the ribboncutting happened indoors.

Hundreds of the Pre-K-through-8th-grade school’s students, family members, staff, and other Westside community members present and past were there to see the new campus a week and a half before its first classes.

They heard from Head of School Kate Mulligan:

Westside’s founder, Alice Howell, was also onstage (second from left, below) along with, in our next photo, former head of school Jo Ann Yockey, teacher Claudia Ross-Weston, former head of school George Edwards, and assistant head of school Don Cunningham:

As “owner’s rep,” Cunningham supervised the renovations and construction with which Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects and general contractor Kirtley-Cole Associates LLC created Westside’s permanent home. To officially open it, Howell wielded the giant scissors for the ceremonial ribboncutting!

Certainly a moment the students will remember:

As will Westside leadership present and past.

Souvenirs, of course, were in order, as Director of Advancement Ted Holmes displayed:

The open house that followed the ceremony gave everyone a chance to look around. Hasn’t been that long since Westside expanded into Middle School:

The new campus’s library is a point of pride:

Here too, we found someone with Westside history – at center is one of the school’s original librarians, June Ross, speaking with library/IT coordinator and middle-school teacher Susannah Muench:

Then there’s the gym and its gleaming wood floor:

It’s full of points of pride for the Westside Wolves:

In the gym, we found Al Skaret – who was involved with Westside in its early days – with assistant head of school Cunningham:

While Saturday wasn’t too conducive to outdoor exploration, the new campus has much to explore there too:

And views from many places inside:

Including places where students can take a break and confer:

For even more background on the 27-classroom school’s design, see this detailed WSB report on our tour of the then-almost-complete campus back in April.

By the way, Saturday’s celebration included food trucks, a feature at the biggest parties on Westside’s former campus at the ex-EC Hughes Elementary (which Seattle Public Schools is likely to renovate and reopen):

The next big milestone for Westside School’s new permanent home at 10404 34th SW – first day of school, Wednesday, September 9th (school administrators have already moved in).

7 Replies to "PHOTOS: 'Heading Home' day at last for Westside School, celebrating new Arbor Heights campus"

  • AHNeighbor August 30, 2015 (7:28 am)

    As a neighbor of the new school, we’ve enjoyed watching the construction progress and think the end result is gorgeous. It’s an amazing addition to the Arbor Heights neighborhood. Welcome, Westside School!

  • John August 30, 2015 (9:02 am)

    I always recognize and enjoy Mr. Boffoli’s photojournalism aside from his famous fine art miniature photocreations.
    Again his seemingly simple camera placements reveal a thoughtful narrative treat. Thank you for his work.

    The new Westside Campus is an incredibly sensitive architectural transformation of a challenging location. Those of us that remember the remarkable but dated old doug fir arched gym could not fathom the boldness of making that the design backbone for a modern new wonderfully detailed learning center. Congratulations to the Westside community.

  • Dick Kramb August 30, 2015 (9:47 am)

    Congratulations to Don Cunningham for a job well done. Absolutely Beautiful. Dick Kramb

  • Diane August 30, 2015 (12:39 pm)

    darn, wish I had known about this open house; I was down in Arbor Heights yesterday and would have stopped in to see the new school; bummed to have missed this
    I don’t see anywhere in the story; what time was this event?

  • Diane August 30, 2015 (12:48 pm)

    and, where specifically is this school located? address? cross-streets?

  • Diane August 30, 2015 (1:05 pm)

    well now that I’ve looked up the address, turns out I drove right by this within a couple blocks, down 35th, but knew nothing about it; so sad to have missed this

  • AHNeighbor August 30, 2015 (5:12 pm)

    Diane, to be fair, the event was publicized on this very blog several days ago.

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