Seattle Schood District is Proposing 4 New Portables to Thornton Creek Elementary

Below is a message regarding the School District’s Capacity Plan, shared to parents at Thornton Creek Elementary through their email newsletter.  According to the District’s Intermediate Term Capacity Management Plan, described by Chris Stewart, Site Council Chair, the District plans on adding 11 portable to the Eckstein Service Area (see Slide 31 of the plan).  How this works out for our area schools is as follows:

  • 1 portable added to the west side of Thornton Creek Elementary over each of the the next 4 years, beginning 2012-2013 (4 portables total).
  • 4 portables added to Bryant Elementary during 2012-2013.
  • 1 portable added to Olympic Hills and Olympic View during 2013-2014.
  • 1 portable added to Rogers during 2014-2015.

According to Chris Stewart, this would increase the school size to 500 students, one third of which would be in portables.  Here is the message to Thornton Creek parents:

Chris Stewart
Site Council Chair

New District Capacity Plan – Summary
District wide enrollment has grown by over 1500 students this school year alone. Overall district enrollment is at a 10 year high with 48,500 students. See this report for more details. For more detailed per school report, click here.

With this much larger than expected growth, the district released their most recent intermediate capacity plan. The current proposal (see slide 31) calls for adding 11 portables to the Eckstein Service area to alleviate elementary school over-crowding. This includes adding an additional portable at Thornton Creek for each year for the next Four years. This would bring our portable total to 8, and our school size to  500 students.  One third of our students will be in portable classrooms.

History of Growth Proposals and AE2/Thornton Creek
For over a decade now, the district has made a wide variety of proposals for growing the Expeditionary Learning Program at Thornton Creek. The vast majority of these proposals never came to fruition because of the extensive infrastructure needs that would be required to grow this program in the Decatur building.

The Decatur Building was originally built as a temporary facility for primary (K-2) students during the Baby Boom days. The building was never designed to last as long as it has and it was never designed for older elementary students.

In 2004, the District had proposed to expand both Pathfinder at Genesse Hill in West Seattle and AE2/Thornton Creek at Decatur into K-8 programs utilizing portables on the campus. Due to the excessive costs associated with infrastructure at the Decatur location, the district decided to only expand Pathfinder at Genesee Hill. During the last round of closures, the district decided to move Pathfinder to the Cooper building because of the lack of educational adequacy of the portables at Genesse Hill. This current plan would place more portables at the Decatur site, than had been housed at Genesee Hill.

Last year, the district had planned to add six portables to our campus. However, the City of Seattle would only issue permits for two additional portables. This was partially because of extensive infrastructure needs required by the portables.

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