May 30, 2024

Education For Live

Masters Of Education

Op-Ed – Alki Elementary School needs work but the SPS plan is deeply flawed

5 min read
Op-Ed – Alki Elementary School needs work but the SPS plan is deeply flawed

Site system for the makeover of Alki Elementary Faculty. Map from Seattle Public Faculties

By Don Brubeck

Alki Faculty requires get the job done.

The learners and lecturers at Alki Elementary will need a college that keeps them comfy, prepared to learn, engaged, and protected from earthquake, fireplace, flood, burglars, and site visitors. They are worthy of areas for finding out and engage in that are effectively lit, have great acoustics for listening and talking, are produced from healthy components, and are related for 21st century understanding technologies. We all need to have community universities to be sustainable, resilient, vitality-economical, and quick to maintain. Faculties are centers of our communities. Educational institutions need to be very good stewards of the land they occupy. Colleges need to respect their neighbors requirements and values. We agree that Alki University wants improvement in all of these parts.

What the 309 pupils and the neighbors and District taxpayers do not have to have is a school that is rebuilt for an imaginary 540 college students.   

We need a neighborhood school that is sized right, to healthy our neighborhood. That is why 17 Alki Faculty Neighbors submitted opinions as a group on District requests for land use code exemptions, and why a number of groups and unique neighbors appealed the District’s SEPA decision that the task would have no sizeable environmental impacts.

The university District decided some several years ago that there ought to only two measurements of elementary faculties, making it possible for only two cookie cutter program designs. This might seem to be orderly and effective, but It ignores the broad range of current web site sizes and software measurements during the town. The District is not getting new house sized for its plan options.  The coverage boxes the style groups into inadequate selections. At 1.4 acres, Alki has the smallest web-site of all Seattle elementary educational institutions. Alki’s university population is toward the lower finish. Its student depend has been slowly trending down for several years and is likely down most in the youngest grades. The Seattle Moments recently documented that the District’s demographic projections for growth of faculty-age youngsters have demonstrated to be incorrect. Citywide, the populace of grownups has grown by about fifty percent in 10 a long time when the quantity of little ones is declining, especially in neighborhoods like Alki in which compact multi-family residences and condos are changing solitary-household homes. Quite a few parents are opting out of the general public universities.  The District has no plans to modify the attendance region for Alki, Lafayette, or Genessee educational institutions, and neither Lafayette nor Genessee’s inhabitants would suit into the prepared rebuild of Alki.  Genessee was lately rebuilt. Lafayette is slated for foreseeable future renovation, as is the shut Schmitz Park Elementary. The District has not examined the choice to use the 7.5 acre Schmitz Park internet site for the Alki Method following the Schmitz Park website is no for a longer period necessary for temporary house whilst West Seattle Elementary and Lafayette are renovated. All these variables make rebuilding for a 77 {e4f787673fbda589a16c4acddca5ba6fa1cbf0bc0eb53f36e5f8309f6ee846cf} improve in capacity at Alki College an unwise decision. It is not far too late for the College Board to modify course.


We do not have to have the District to develop and pay back to work a setting up that is more than a third empty.

Grossly oversized services are inefficient and wasteful to function.


We do not will need a building that is as tall as a five-story condominium building.

It will loom around neighboring houses and apartments, block our light-weight and views, and shade the playground.  Neighbors will be going through a few stories of classrooms with 9-foot-superior home windows, lit in hours of darkness, reflecting sun in daytime, and intruding with views from the university to our residences. The 57-foot top is far far more than the land use code’s standard optimum of 35 toes for universities in residential zones. It is much more than double the current building peak together 59th Avenue SW.


We do not have to have the extra visitors and parking on the streets.

You may possibly have noticed that we have a parking problem in Alki close to the seashore when the solar is out. The District is asking for code exemptions to eradicate all on-internet site motor vehicle parking, to have no ADA parking or drop-off/pick-up zone, to hold the bus load zone the exact, and to have significantly fewer than code minimum for bicycle parking.


We do not need to have the added environmental impacts.

The District is striving to in shape 10 gallons of drinking water into a 5-gallon hat.

Instead of remediating previous destruction and neglect of the website, The District is preparing to pave and construct around extra of it.  The soil, with a large chance of archeological importance, and steep slope at the southeast will be enormously disturbed by development. The outsized setting up needs additional design noise, dust, and air air pollution in excess of a longer period of time. Permanent impacts for noise, mild, glare, traffic basic safety, parking, tree canopy and environmentally crucial locations will be better than needed.

The concept we neighbors of Alki College would like the University Board to listen to:

  • Do not just question for input. Reply with regard, flexibility, and common feeling.
  • Use our taxes correctly.
  • Turn into great stewards of the land and h2o we entrust to you.
  • We vote.
  • Correct-sizing Alki College.


Don Brubeck is a retired architect who has worked on non-public universities and public faculty tasks in 16 university districts in Washington and Oregon, which includes West Seattle’s Madison MS, Denny MS, Main Sealth HS, West Seattle HS, Arbor Heights ES and Holy Rosary School.


This Op-Ed was created to signify the collective sights of lots of neighbors in the Alki community. It is meant to amplify all those voices and prompt higher transparency, conversation and versatility from Seattle General public Faculties. The district was supplied an oppotunity to remark on this prior to publication but they declined.

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