New Thornton Creek School Community Meeting – Thursday, June 27th, 7-8:30PM

COMMUNITY MEETING ON THE NEW THORNTON CREEK BUILDING
THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH, 7-8:30PM
AT THORNTON CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
7711 43rd AVE NE

The Seattle Public School District is hosting a community meeting on Thursday, June 27th, from 7-8:30PM to discuss the new, voter-approved K-5 elementary school to be built on the Thornton Creek Elementary School site. We have been working with the District for some time now to arrange this meeting to provide the community the opportunity to share constructive ideas to the design team and the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT). Whether or not you’re in favor of the new school, Seattle voters approved the new school and it is going to be built. So, consider this meeting to be part informational meeting and part design workshop.

The following information is on the postcard which is being sent out by the District announcing the community meeting.

Dear Wedgwood Community,

Seattle voters approved the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy in February 2013, which includes a project to construct a new elementary school building for Thornton Creek, scheduled to open for the 2016-17 school year.

The community meeting will be presented by representatives of Seattle Public Schools capital projects team and Mahlum Architects, and will include information about the project’s early design progress. You will be able to learn more about the project scope and schedule, and ask questions and provide feedback. We hope that you can join us! For more information, please visit http://bex.seattleschools.org.

PLEASE COME TO THE MEETING WITH YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE IDEAS ON HOW THE DESIGN TEAM CAN MAKE THE NEW SCHOOL WORK EXCEPTIONALLY FOR THE FUTURE STUDENTS AND FACULTY AS WELL AS THE NEIGHBORS AND THE GREATER WEDGWOOD COMMUNITY!

5 Replies to “New Thornton Creek School Community Meeting – Thursday, June 27th, 7-8:30PM”

  1. The posted statement that the new school is going to be built is an opinion, not a fact. The Wedgwood Open Space Neighborhood Coalition has had discussions with the Seattle School District for over a year now expressing our concerns about building a second school on the Thornton Creek School playfield. During the summer of 2012, our coalition collected more than 850 signatures and statements opposing the siting of the new school at Thornton Creek. I would like to invite those who signed the petition and others who are opposed to the new school being sited on the playfield and sports fields, to attend the June 27th meeting mentioned above. We can still have a voice at the meeting and numbers count.

    When the Seattle voters passed the BEX IV CIP Levy, the wording in the Voters’ Pamphlet, Proposition No. 2, read: The Board of Directors of Seattle School District No. 1 requests approval of a capital levy as described in Resolution No. 2012/13-4. At the Regular Legislative Session of the November 7, 2012, School Board Meeting, Action Item No. 3, Authorizing Resolution 2012/13-4 including edited language, passed by a vote of 6-0, with Sherry Carr not present. The edited language read: At Thornton Creek, the project list allows for the possibility that any needed additional seating capacity may be built at an alternative location.

    There are better alternative locations. We still have the opportunity to raise our voices and let the District know that we oppose the siting of the new school on our open space which hosts the school playfield, the sports leagues games and practices and our community park.

    Please attend this meeting and speak out.
    Carole Martens, Member of the
    Wedgwood Open Space Neighborhood Coalition

  2. Not only is the statement that the school will be built only an opinion but the statement that the voters approved the school is out and out wrong. The full statement on the king county election website never describes any particular school construction project. The vote of the people authorized the school district to use the revenue from the additional tax almost any way they want.
    The school board on August 15th of last year promised to place any new programs near where the children live. Since there are already many children attending schools in our neighborhood who live outside our neighborhood, building either an additional or larger school in our neighborhood is contradicting Seattle School District Policy 2200 titled EQUITABLE ACCESS TO PROGRAMS & SERVICES.

    1. Leigh, you can read about Proposition 2 and what it funded on this post under Long Term Capacity Management.
      http://wedgwoodcc.org/short-and-long-term-school-district-capacity-management-decisions-coming-soon

      After Prop 2 was passed, we met with the District to ask some questions. You can read about that here.
      http://wedgwoodcc.org/voters-approved-new-ne-k-5-school-now-what

      Following our meeting, the District finalized the Thornton Creek site and adjusted their plan to move the Thornton Creek Elementary Program to the new building. You can read about that here.
      http://wedgwoodcc.org/quasi-breaking-news-school-district-recommending-changes-to-their-ne-seattle-k-5-school-proposal
      AND
      http://wedgwoodcc.org/the-school-district-significantly-revised-plans-for-the-ne-seattle-k-5-school

  3. Postcards from the School District clearly state “You will be able to learn more about the project scope and schedule, and ask questions and provide feedback.”

    For some of us, the scope of the present plan to build a campus for 1100 students plus staff that includes two schools and minimal onsite parking requires feedback. This will be twice the density of any elementary school campus in our area and will generate triple the traffic created by the present Thornton Creek School. These are not trivial issues.

    Per Johnson, in his remarks on the BEX IV web site made some excellent points about neighborhood infrastructure that needs improvement: “With construction of a new school, I would expect that the infrastructure surrounding the whole Thornton Creek School site and surrounding blocks are improved.” He then went on to specify that “ Infrastructure improvements include sidewalks and street modifications to provide safe routes for students to walk and bike to school as well as accommodate increased staff parking and bus loading/traffic.”

    I completely agree with Per’s statement above and hope that WCC board members and Wedgwood residents will request binding written assurances that sidewalks leading up to the school will be built. At present, there are no actual plans or budget to do the necessary — and expensive — work.

    In addition, community members of the School Design Advisory Team have learned that there is really not enough acreage on the Thornton Creek School site to house two schools, provide adequate play space as required by School District standards, retain a playing field and provide adequate on-site parking.

    Something has to give.

  4. Louisa, my comments were made to the Draft EIS for the BEX IV levy, and were not done so as a representative of the Wedgwood Community Council. What I specified was my assurance that the project would wholly mitigate for its impacts, which it will have to do as part of the land use process. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the adequacy of its proposed mitigation when the building goes through the SEPA process. Without a design, the district will likely be unable to commit to any mitigation…especially not at the meeting.

    This community meeting deviates from the District’s normal process of developing a plan and then presenting it to the community. Instead, we’re asking the district to listen to great, creative, constructive ideas that the community has to offer before even beginning the formal design process. We hope this meeting is a productive meeting for the district and their design team in learning what our neighborhood would like to see.

    I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!

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