SCHOOLS: Roof project finally wrapping up at West Seattle High School, with something extra

Along with saying goodbye to the Class of 2021, West Seattle High School is also saying goodbye to its longrunning roof project. Seattle Public Schools says the two-year project is concluding this month. And it’s more than repair and replacement – it includes a bit of historical restoration too. The photos and explanation are from the district announcement:

As part of the project, the school is once again crowned by a spire atop the main cupola. The historic spire was installed when the school was constructed in 1918 but disappeared sometime after a roof repair project in the 1980s.

The Stemper Architecture website shows how the new spire was designed, made, and installed.

The district replaced part of the clay tile roof on the school’s 1918 wing, an official city landmark, in 2017. That work, the district says, “identified further issues with the landmark clay tile roof and the need to replace the existing thermal polyolefin roofing system as it had reached the end of its service life.” The resulting work also included sections of seam metal roofing over other parts of the school. This photo shows the multiple roofing types:

Plus, the district says, its project “addressed some deficiencies in the school’s design, including leaking concrete masonry walls covered with a new wall panel system, and a leaking seismic expansion joint which was replaced with a waterproof, continuous seismic expansion joint system.” Read more about the work on the SPS website.

2 Replies to "SCHOOLS: Roof project finally wrapping up at West Seattle High School, with something extra"

  • Jim '79 June 13, 2021 (8:03 pm)

    Notice the cupola is shorter in the “before” picture. It was destroyed in a fire during a previous roof project in the 80’s. When they replaced it, they built it to the height specified in the original drawings. So you could say that in the 100+ years of this building, with the addition of the spire, they finally got it right. I had the rare pleasure of seeing the remnants of the original building’s lunchroom located under that cupola, and the unfinished interior roof lines when the auditorium addition was added. By the time the auditorium was built, it was just an unused attic. I also climbed up the wrap-a-round stairwell of the amazing clock workings,  and added my name to the wall as one of the view visitors to that space.

  • Mj June 13, 2021 (10:32 pm)

    Good timing, a good hard rain to verify that the new roof is keeping the water out!

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