West Seattle, Washington
In our coverage of the recent joint Chief Sealth International High School-Denny International Middle School PTSA briefing, we mentioned a big event announced that night by Denny principal Jeff Clark – a June 11th event to say goodbye to the half-century old school that is soon to be demolished. Today, we have more information about that event, and a couple other dates you can mark on the calendar: First, the June 11th event, for anyone interested to take “one last look” at the old Denny, will start with “walking the halls” at 10 am – then 10:30-noon, a program in the cafeteria. (This is on a Saturday, so classes will not be in session.) Dates also have been set for the new Denny’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, 1 pm Tuesday, September 6th, the day before the new school year starts, and an “all-community celebration” at 10 am Saturday, September 24th.
As for exactly when the old Denny building is to be demolished, making way for new sports facilities – a softball field and tennis courts – replacing the ones lost in the construction of the new school on the Sealth campus, we have that question out to the district, which expects to be able to share the information later this week. The demolition permit has not yet been granted, but it’s close, as the city website lists its status as “reviews completed.” The land-use permit for the project was granted in March.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Almost four full years ago, the principals of what were then Chief Sealth High School and Denny Middle School stood before a concerned crowd at Southwest Community Center and apologized for not enough community outreach about the plan for their schools to share a campus.
Flash forward to last night. The principals are the same – Sealth’s John Boyd, Denny’s Jeff Clark. The schools are both now “international” schools. And the shared campus is almost complete; a new Denny has arisen next to the remodeled Sealth, which reopened last fall after two years of work, and is scheduled to open this summer.
Last night, not far from SWCC — where they had faced concerned community members in 2007 — they stood together before a group to again talk about the shared campus – this time, about the practicalities, the procedures, the reality of what it should be like next fall, when the middle schoolers and high schoolers are on the same campus, the first co-located campuses in the district.
The meeting yielded new information, such as the schools’ start/end times for next year and expected enrollment.
From the WSB inbox: Denny International Middle School yearbook adviser Kathy Saxon is asking for your help if you have anything to say about Denny’s half-century-plus history. This is the last year that the old building is scheduled to be in operation as a school before getting torn down (if you missed our coverage the past few years, the replacement is explained here), so they would like to hear from anyone who has “a note or quote to say about their years at the old Denny … it would be a tremendous help toward the outcome of our yearbook, which is going along the theme of the architectural features of Denny and saying goodbye to the past. Denny has been around for over 50 years, and there are so many stories that other generations could share with the current generation of Denny; we would love to include these aspects in our yearbook this year.” E-mail your “note or quote” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photos by Cliff DesPeaux)
One week from tonight, Chief Sealth International High School students and staff – and their respective families! – will be resting up after the first day of classes inside the newly renovated school. Tonight, CSIHS principal John Boyd showed off his school’s shiny new digs to those who signed up for a “sneak peek” behind-the-scenes tour, benefiting the Friends of Sealth scholarship fund:
Photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux covered the tour for WSB, to capture the sights and sounds as the tour wound its way through areas including the spiffed-up gym:
He’s working on video right now that we’ll add when it’s ready, with an expanded look at what tourgoers saw.
You can read more about the two-year renovation project on the Seattle Public Schools website here – and our coverage archive, newest to oldest, is here. (The new Denny International Middle School, sharing the Sealth campus, remains under construction, with that move planned next year.)
Here is Cliff’s video:
As mentioned here about this time last night, Chief Sealth International High School got the go-ahead for teachers and other staffers to move in – and today, they did just that. Above, unpacking was still under way in the Proyecto Saber room, where we found teachers including Delfino Munoz around mid-afternoon. And the Southwest Precinct had just sent over its second tour-group-in-blue:
Speaking of colors, they play a role in the Sealth scheme – just look down the hallway:
With two weeks to go till the first day of classes – and 13 days to the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 am Sept. 7 – there’s still plenty of work under way, inside and out, but it’s clearly the home stretch – here’s a view from the front steps down toward the new Galleria:
Your first official chance to get a peek inside is just a week away – next Wednesday night, as a fundraiser for the Friends of Sealth scholarship fund, you can be part of a behind-the-scenes tour – reservations required, and you can make yours online at the new Friends of Sealth website. One month from today, a community open house will include tours, too – 10 am Sept. 25th.
If you’re associated with Chief Sealth International High School in some way, including students’ families, you’ve probably seen or heard a message in the past few days about the renovated campus awaiting Fire Marshal clearance before staff can move in. That clearance has just been achieved, says Sealth principal John Boyd, who tells WSB that teachers and administrators will start moving in tomorrow – exactly 2 weeks before classes begin.
With the Chief Sealth International High School renovations close to completion – and the first day of school just three weeks away – the project-management team at DKA Architecture just sent along a new aerial. (Ever wonder about unmarked choppers/planes in the area from time to time? Keep in mind, some are taking photos like these!) It shows the Chief Sealth campus from the south side along Thistle, looking northward. Note the paved parking areas, among other touches. We talked to Sealth principal John Boyd a short time ago to find out how soon his staff will be moving in; as the quote in our headline indicates, they’re eager. Right now, Boyd says, they’re awaiting the results of fire/safety inspections. If those go well, the contents of administrative offices and classrooms – what Sealth teachers have already boxed up – will be moved over the weekend, with the hopes that administrators can come in Monday and Tuesday to start getting settled, with teachers following on Tuesday and Wednesday. “We’re anxious, we want to get over there, but we want everything to be done (right) – and we’re still operable at Boren” till then, Boyd tells WSB, adding, “The facilities are beautiful.” The upgrades have been under way for two years, and the new Denny International Middle School is being built on the same site, though its completion/move aren’t scheduled till next year. (More project background can be found here.) ADDED 1:12 PM: Also just got a new photo taken at the site today and shared by DKA, described as “the installation of the new water feature in the CS Galleria entrance”:
More new outside/inside photos here.
As work continues on Chief Sealth International High School renovations, and construction of the new Denny International Middle School next door, the date’s already set for two events celebrating the reopening of Sealth’s permanent campus (map): The day before classes start for next school year, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned, 9:30 am September 7th, at the main entrance. Then on Saturday, September 25th, an all-community celebration is planned, described in the announcement as “an opportunity for the community to come tour the renovated main building, gym and new Galleria/Commons.” The galleria’s where this photo was taken earlier this month (it, and the photo above, are courtesy of the project team):
If you missed it the first time, here’s our story from a hard-hat tour with Sealth students in April.
SIDE NOTE: Sealth’s graduation is one of four we covered in West Seattle this month – here are the story links:
South Seattle Community College (June 17th photos/video)
West Seattle High School (June 16th photos/video)
Chief Sealth International High School (June 15th photos/video – including the “flash mob”)
Seattle Lutheran High School (June 11th photos)
That’s the newest aerial photo from the team working on the new Denny International Middle School (left side of the photo) and renovations to Chief Sealth International High School. It comes with the latest construction update: For the new Denny, to be occupied in 2011, they’re planning to complete the roofing for the building’s north and south wings this month; for Sealth, floor leveling will be completed in the performance-arts area, and doors and carpeting will be installed in classrooms. (CSIHS student reps took a hard-hat tour of the site April 9 – here’s our report; our archived Denny-Sealth coverage is here; updates from the project team can be found here.)
You’ve probably seen the photos from the outside – but this time, we’re going inside. As Chief Sealth International High School renovations move into the final months, school administrators thought it was time to get the students excited about the upgrades too. So Thursday morning a busload of 2nd-period class reps – who act as liaisons between classmates and staff – got a hardhat tour; WSB got to join them. First stop on the tour, the former commons area, where project manager Robert Evans explained what it was morphing into:
After Sealth students and staff move back to the permanent campus this fall, they’ll be lunching in the new Galleria (top photo). Many more sights ahead, including another look at the slope-clearing goats:Read More
Look who’s just joined the project team at the Westwood site where Chief Sealth High School is being renovated and the new Denny International Middle School is being built: Goats from Rent-A-Ruminant. According to the project team from DKA, the goats are clearing blackberries and other undergrowth near newly planted evergreens on the west/north sides of the site, and will be there for about two weeks. We snagged a quick iPhone clip:
Meanwhile, landscaping work and other components of the current phase of the project may involve heavy equipment on nearby streets, so a doorhanger is being distributed to nearby homes; here’s what it says. Though the project website has a webcam, you’re not going to see the goats on it – they’re up on the slopes rather than down in the thick of the construction.
Exactly three months from today, June 22 will be the last day of school for Chief Sealth High School in its temporary quarters at the former Boren Junior High on Delridge. In September, after two years away, Sealth moves back into its permanent location – while the new adjacent Denny International Middle School is built. The project team has just provided the latest site aerial:
Compare that shot (taken last week) to a similar view seven months earlier:
Denny isn’t scheduled to move to its new site (the lower left of those photos) till 2011, so Sealth students will still have the campus to themselves when school starts this fall. The project’s official website is here; it includes a webcam, looking currently at the Galleria that both schools will share – see that here.
That’s the newest aerial of the project that’s renovating Chief Sealth High School and building the new Denny International Middle School next door. It’s from a presentation that was given during the prospective-student open house at Sealth last Thursday night; the project team has just shared a web-ready version of the full presentation. It includes bullet-point info on all the renovation work, as well as many INSIDE photos from inside the project site taken during the past year and a half. Chief Sealth reopens its permanent campus this fall; Denny is scheduled to move into its new school next door in time for fall 2011. Here’s the presentation (32-page PDF); Denny, by the way, has its big open house tomorrow night, and is also offering tours – here’s the schedule shared by principal Jeff Clark:
Tours: February 2, 9, 24 and March 2, 9, 17 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. All are welcome – no appointment needed. Description of school offerings followed by a guided school tour.
Evening Open House for Prospective New Families: January 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. Following the presentation, guests will have the opportunity to meet teachers and staff.
(The tours will show you around the current campus, not the construction site, in case there’s any confusion.) By the way, the Sealth/Denny construction site has a webcam you can check for a close-up look at what’s happening right now.
Though we just updated the King County Water Taxi dock work at Seacrest Pier early this morning, it’s worth another note: The county announcement last week had said the fishing pier was expected to stay open, it was CLOSED when we were over at Seacrest a little while ago. The crane/barge work is so close that it’s easy to see why. So in case you were thinking of going fishing (or view-enjoying), take note, it may not be accessible if you go while this is happening. We’re checking with the county to see if there is any more predictable information to share on that. Fascinating work to watch, though, and thanks again to kmo39 for high-level views like the ones shared earlier today.
(added 3:33 pm) Update from Susan Whitmore at KCDOT:
I just got back from Seacrest Dock and want to update you on the status of the fixed fishing pier. It isn’t officially closed, but when the crane is working over the pier (off and on for the next few days) the construction supervisor is suggesting that folks don’t go out on the pier. They are making good progress and have already started hammering in the piles and have three in place already. The supervisor mentioned that they will also ask folks not to use the fixed pier for a day during the week of Jan 18th when the concrete pumping truck is on site pumping concrete.
Pauline Sugarman, Seattle Public Schools BEX Program Community Outreach Assistant, shares that photo of the topping-off ceremony celebrated at the Denny site just before Christmas, and this aerial of the entire project site:
(Scroll through the Denny-Sealth coverage archive to see previous aerials.) We asked if there’s an update on whether the new Denny is likely to be occupied midyear 2011-2012 or not till the start of the 2011-2012 school year; Sugarman says that the final decision hasn’t been made yet, but the latter may be more likely, as Denny work might not be done before March 2011. Chief Sealth, though, remains on track to reoccupy its permanent campus this fall, after two years in temporary quarters at the former Louisa Boren Junior High School on Delridge.
In the latest construction update, they say Sealth work is continuing on “insulation, doors, plumbing, HVAC, electrical and fire sprinklers” and wall-framing, while structural-steel deliveries continue for the new Denny – they’ve already completed putting up the steel for the new Denny gym as well as the Galleria that both schools will share. Sealth is scheduled to move back this fall after 2 years at the Boren interim location; we’re checking on the latest timetable for Denny occupancy. Here’s the official project-information site.
If you ever went to a play, a concert or an assembly in the Chief Sealth High School auditorium – you’ll remember these seats. They’re being replaced as part of the renovation project that’s in its home stretch. Second Use Building Materials shared the photo with news that it salvaged the 600 (or so) seats for reuse, and that they’re now for sale – you can even just buy one (here’s a sample page from the Second Use website). Says the announcement from Second Use, “These seats are great for adding a bit of flair or history to home design projects, business settings, or even classrooms.” For information about the material or the salvage project, you can contact Patrick Burningham at 206-510-8272 or Patrick@seconduse.com.
Courtesy of the project team at DKA, new photos taken just yesterday at the Denny/Sealth construction site in Westwood – where DKA says that as of the end of October, “60% of the structural steel needed for the construction of the new Galleria and Denny International Middle School had been delivered to the construction site. Footings for the new Galleria and Denny school are now 90% complete as are the underground utilities for the Galleria.” Here’s a view with more of the new Denny’s “skeleton” (left side):
For perspective – from an earlier story, here’s a rendering of the entire project site from the same direction – looking south – what you see above is roughly at the rear center of this (the galleria attaches the new Denny to the existing Sealth):
DKA’s update continues:
In the existing Chief Sealth High School building, the contractor completed framing walls on the first floor and is 70% complete with wall framing on the 2nd floor. The contractor continued work on the mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-in in the Chief Sealth building.
This month, November, 2009, work will continue on the foundation and walls for the new Denny International Middle School. Deliveries of the structural steel for the new Denny School will continue as will the steel erection of the Commons area. The contractor will continue framing walls in Chief Sealth High School. Site work will continue on the south and west sides of the project.
More construction photos are online here. Sealth renovations are to be complete in time for classes to resume at the site this fall, after two years in temporary quarters at Boren; the new Denny is to be complete in early 2011. Work’s been under way at the site since July 2008.
That’s the latest aerial photo (taken last month but posted today) of the Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth High School shared-campus construction site in Westwood (an all-new Denny is being built, while Sealth is getting various upgrades/renovations). It’s new on the district website along with updates on the project – what’s done, what’s in progress – you can read those here. P.S. If you are among the parents working to learn more about Denny and Sealth because of the attendance-boundary revisions, a few notes: The official district informational meetings in West Seattle are tomorrow night at WS High School (3000 California SW) and Friday night at Denny (30th/Thistle), both at 6:30; also, Sealth is having an informational night for its International Baccalaureate program, which we just added to the Events calendar last night – it’s coming up at 7 pm November 3rd at Sealth’s interim location at Boren (5950 Delridge).
Just received that aerial photo from Pauline Sugarman at DKA, which is leading the new Denny Middle School/renovated Chief Sealth High School project – she calls it the “first aerial photo” of the project and included the construction update that’s going to neighbors and other interested parties:
Last month, July, 2009, the Project 1 contractor completed the retaining wall along the east property line as well as continued work on the sewer line along with east property. Grading for the north parking lot was started and will be completed by the first week of August.
This month, August, 2009, work for Project 1 will include site asphalt paving at the north parking lot and east road.
For Project 2, installation of the short aggregate piers will be completed by the end of this month. The Project 2 contractor is starting the interior renovation of the main classroom building for Chief Sealth. Foundation work will also be starting in August along with site work including grading, excavation and underground utilities for the new Denny school.
Installation of some storm sewer piping and connecting to the existing sanitary manhole in SW Kenyon Street, 260 feet east of the SW 26th Avenue intersection will take place August 10th through the 21st. The new utility will serve the new Denny Sealth campus scheduled to open in fall, 2010. No other utilities will be impacted by this work. Pedestrian and vehicle access to homes adjacent to the work zone will be maintained during the street closure. Detour signs will be up to direct all other traffic during construction hours.
Visit the BEX website bex.seattleschools.org/chiefsealth.html to see photos, construction news and more.
Please contact the Denny/Chief Sealth project manager, Robert Evans, at (206) 658-2731 or email at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns regarding this construction project.
Sealth is scheduled to reopen in a year; move-in for the new Denny is planned for 2011.
(photo added 12:33 pm – Denny-Sealth construction view from the north side, along SW Kenyon)
Two reminders: The 16th SW road-rebuilding work north of South Seattle Community College is scheduled to get into full swing next week, but SDOT has warned that preparation work this week (such as equipment arrival) may result in delays. Also, the Chief Sealth High School-Denny Middle School project has moved into a new stage; work is under way on the foundation, utilities and retaining walls for the new Denny, and crews are starting installations of electrical/mechanical upgrades at Chief Sealth, as well as asphalt removal at the site’s north driveway. Work at the high school is scheduled to be done in time for classes to resume there in fall of 2010; the new Denny is to be completed in 2011.
Now that the legal challenge to the Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth High School site project has been settled (WSB coverage here), the project has its Master Use Permit, and project managers say that means the next phase of construction is about to begin. They’ve shared with us the doorhanger that they plan to distribute to nearby residents tomorrow, with specifics on how construction is about to ramp up. See it here. As the doorhanger notes, Sealth work is expected to be done by next summer, and construction of the new Denny is to be finished in winter 2011; here’s the project’s official website.
(entrance and courtyard for new Denny Middle School)
We’ve just received these new renderings of what Denny Middle School — as of next fall, Denny International Middle School — will look like when its new building is complete on the Chief Sealth High School campus nearby. This view is looking west:
They’re from a presentation made to the Denny PTSA this week; you can see the full presentation, with other renderings, including the plan for the current Denny site, here. (While the presentation says the new building will be done in late winter 2011, we’re told that Denny principal Jeff Clark still plans to move the staff that summer and start classes there in fall 2011, as he told us two months ago .)
More on this week’s presentation, and other aspects of the ongoing CSHS renovation/DMS (future) construction project, can be found on this district-maintained website. The site also includes monthly construction updates (with photos).
Two weeks ago, we published a short report from the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers in the Municipal Tower, after listening to arguments from both sides in the appeal of the decision granting “departures” crucial to the Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School co-located-campus project (rendering above). At the end of that hearing, deputy hearing examiner Anne Watanabe promised to publish her ruling in two weeks. Though the ruling is not yet available online, we got a call tonight from the person who filed and argued the appeal, West Seattle-based district watchdog Chris Jackins. He has received a copy of the decision and tells WSB that while the ruling upholds the city’s granting of the “departures” – allowing the project more height and less parking than city code otherwise would have required – he says “we did get two of the things we wanted”: One, a stipulation that the two schools’ start/dismissal times must be staggered by at least 30 minutes; two, a stipulation that a certified arborist be present for any future “tree removal activities.” (Jackins had documented the removal of trees on the site while a different appeal was still pending, as we reported last August.) “I’m happy about those two things,” he added. We will check with the Hearing Examiner tomorrow to seek a copy of the full ruling so we can add it here.