The Seattle Public School District cleared its final hurdle to building a new school on the Decatur School campus at 40th Ave NE and NE for the NE 77th St for the existing Thornton Creek Elementary program to relocate to. On March 11th, the city’s hearing examiner issued their final ruling following an appeal by the Seattle Committee to Save Schools (the Committee) on the District’s Master Use Permit (MUP) and the departures to the city’s zoning code. The appeal occurred on February 27th. The city’s hearing examiner decision dismissed one of the Committee’s appeal issues regarding potentially radioactive materials on site while also slightly modifying the previously approved development standards relating to parking, staggered pick up/drop off times, and frontage improvements. With the city’s final decision, the MUP has been approved and issued to the District. All that remains are for the District to receive the building permits, which have been reviewed and approved but not yet issued (they’re expected to be issued next week).
With this decision and the imminent approval of the building permits, the District is nearly set to begin construction on the new school this May. In preparation of this, the District solicited bids from contractors for the project with bids due on March 12th. After review of the bids, the District selected Forma Construction Company, which has experience building K-12 schools and higher learning facilities. According to Mike Skutack, the District’s project manager overseeing the project, the contractor’s bid included all alternates (additional design features and amenities) requested by the District and was within the District’s budget. The project is expected to be substantially complete by July 2016.