FOLLOWUP: Future of former church in Upper Fauntleroy (with Tuesday update)

ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: Two months ago, we reported on the then-pending sale of West Seattle’s last freestanding Christian Science church, at 3601 SW Barton [map]. There was no hint at the time of who was buying it and what the one-acre site’s future would be; it was being marketed with possibilities including eight new homes. The sale still hasn’t shown up in county records but a new filing with the city proposes a use for the site – a preschool. WorldKids School, which already has two locations in West Seattle and others elsewhere, has filed an early-stage site plan that would convert the church building into a preschool. The site plan also shows a playground at the northeast corner of the site. We have an inquiry out to WorldKids seeking more information about their plan. As for the former church, a regional spokesperson for the denomination told us that the small group that had continued to meet at the site was disbanding. This wouldn’t be the first former West Seattle church converted into a preschool – we reported last year on Westside School (WSB sponsor) doing the same thing with the former New Apostolic Church adjacent to its Arbor Heights campus.

ADDED TUESDAY: We heard back today from WorldKids founder Nicole Chaudry:

WorldKids School has been looking for properties that can serve more families in our community for a while now. We currently have a 1-2 year waitlist at all of our current locations and this new space will allow us to serve more families.

We are thrilled that the church group has agreed to sell the building to our organization. Plans are very preliminary at this point but we will be obtaining financing through the SBA. The remodel, permits etc will take 6-12 months. We will remodel the church building in order to bring it up to code and make it suitable for our preschool center. We have no plans to develop the property but might expand our playground at some point.

13 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Future of former church in Upper Fauntleroy (with Tuesday update)"

  • helpermonkey January 24, 2022 (11:16 am)

    This makes me so happy knowing that this weirdly beautiful building will be put to good use and not torn down for a bunch of ugly, overpriced townhomes. 

    • anonyme January 24, 2022 (1:39 pm)


    • dhg January 24, 2022 (3:46 pm)

      There are beautiful trees on the lot, I hope it can retain them and the character of the building.        

    • Morgan January 24, 2022 (8:30 pm)

      Here here!

  • AlkiBean January 24, 2022 (11:54 am)

    Wow…the business of running pre-schools must be very good considering the sale price of this property was over $2mil!!

    • WSB January 24, 2022 (3:06 pm)

      It should be noted that we have not yet confirmed that the preschool company is the owner – that’s how they’re listed on the site plan but those sometimes list the owner of a business, rather than the owner of the building holding the business. – TR

  • HS January 24, 2022 (12:08 pm)

    Oh that’s great! And very needed in this area – lots of new families with babies here. There’s just a site plan but I’m hoping they can keep the original building.

    • WSB January 24, 2022 (12:12 pm)

      The brief synopsis on the city website suggests they’re remodeling the existing building.

      • HS January 24, 2022 (4:22 pm)

        That could mean so many things especially since the building will have to meet current requirements for that type of business (if it turns out to be a preschool). Here’s hoping that they can retain much of what makes the building architecturally unique/interesting. Especially since it’s a building liked by the neighborhood.

  • mh January 24, 2022 (1:05 pm)

    Worldkids has been a wonderful daycare for our family (Delridge location). So happy they are expanding! 

  • Rocket January 24, 2022 (3:22 pm)

    Nice that the building will be used for something useful after all these years. 

  • Mj January 24, 2022 (5:55 pm)

    AlkiBean – operating a daycare is a tough business.  Thin margins!

    My quick inspection of the site it looks to be a good location for the use.  

    World Kids does a stand out job of operating daycares.  

  • ArborHeights neighbor January 25, 2022 (11:18 am)

    My daughter attended WorldKids School and we had an awesome experience.  It is a well-run preschool program.  I wish we would have been able to attend at this location as it’s so close to our home.   They always do such great work converting existing buildings into warm and enriching learning spaces!

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