You are invited to attend a Community Conversation this Thursday evening regarding the new elementary school to be built on the Genesee Hill site. This meeting will be co-hosted by Seattle Public Schools and GSNC, and will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Immediately after the Community Conversation, GSNC will hold a short general meeting from 8 to 8:30 p.m. in the same location; the community is invited to attend this meeting as well for updates on other community issues.
Date: Thursday, March 14
Time: 6:30-8 p.m. Community Conversation
8-8:30 p.m. Brief GSNC General Meeting
Where: Schmitz Park Elementary Cafeteria, 5000 SW Spokane St.
1) Community Conversation: Progress on design of new elementary school
2) GSNC meeting: 48th Ave. Greenway; status of parks levy application; and more
Please SAVE THE DATE for future Community Conversations and GSNC meetings:
SPS/GSNC Community Conversation:
Tuesday, April 30 (to be held from 6:30-8 p.m. at Schmitz Park Elementary School)
GSNC Quarterly General Meeting:
Thursday, June 13 (time and location to be announced)
We have been informed by Gerrit Kischner, principal of Schmitz Park Elementary School, that Seattle School District has decided to cancel next Tuesday’s meeting. They explained that their new project manager needed some time to get up to speed, and that BLRB Architects needed more time to take into account the district’s recent changes to the design guidelines for schools of 650 students. In addition, the architects have not had enough time to meet with the individual district departments that need to have input on the design.
The next meeting on March 14 will be held as previously announced.
In the meanwhile, Principal Kischner is working to set up a meeting with neighbors living along the east side of the Genesee Hill property, to hear their concerns about the preferred alternative.
Last, but not least, here are the 2013-02-13 SDAT Workshop 8 Meeting Notes from yesterday’s meeting, with some additional discussion about the overall process and the various designs GSNC posted earlier today.
(Hint: SD in the minutes means Schematic Design, DD means Design Development, and CD means Construction Documents. Also SDAT means School Design Advisory Team.)
Here is Conceptual Design B, with more commentary below it:
The SDAT decided that it preferred the field/playspace/amphitheater arrangement in Concept A, in addition to the yellow patio-type areas at the top of the slope in Concept B. (These would not be connected because the bridges access the upper slope on the same level.)
A request was made for a kindergarten play area near the NE corner of the building, and another request to provide public access along the NE property line down to the lower level.
There was also some discussion about the placement of the ramp and stairs leading down from the bus loading zone along 51st to the school level. There was a preference for moving the stairs south, so that there would be direct access across the parent dropoff road to the play area where children will gather before school. The ramp, whether a long straight one (best for neighbors coming from the NE part of the property) or a zigzag one, would ideally end at the same location as the stairs so that there would be a single crossing point (likely to be managed with a stop sign or some other traffic control).
The garden spaces will probably be moved from being adjacent to Genesee Street closer to the amphitheater and/or building on the lower level, but the wish is to retain the southern exposure for best growing conditions.
Tom Rengstorf, of Thomas V. Rengstorf Associates, presented some initial ideas for the landscape design around the new school. He presented two alternatives, with different locations of the playspace, amphitheater, and other components. The first design presented was Concept A:
Conceptual Design B will be presented in the next post (the files were too large to include both in one post).
The latest building design for the new school is an updated version of the preferred alternative, shown in CombinedPlans. It was presented to the SDAT last night, along with the caveat that the design had become outdated just in the past 24 hours prior to the meeting. Seattle Public Schools has decided that the school will definitely be built to accommodate 650 students, not the range of 500-650 previously discussed. (This was likely driven by the ever-climbing enrollment of Schmitz Park Elementary, which is now projected to have 600 students for Fall 2013.)
Along with this decision, the district provided an updated “Ed. Spec.” (Educational Specification) for 650-student schools which would require a much larger gym (to hold 2 classes simultaneously), a slightly larger library, and several additional “flex classrooms.” The design team and project manager will negotiate with the district on reducing the newly required gym size somewhat, because it would be enormous and take away from the limited outdoor play space.
One other change from the plans as shown is that the SDAT suggested that the locations of the Childcare Classrooms and the Administrative rooms be reversed.
At last evening’s meeting of the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT), BLRB Architects shared their Schematic Design Schedule for February through April 2013.
There will be three Community Conversations during this time, co-hosted by Seattle Public Schools and GSNC:
Tuesday, February 26, 6:30-8 p.m. at Schmitz Park Elementary
Thursday, March 14, 6:30-8 p.m. at Schmitz Park Elementary
Tuesday, April 30, 6:30-8 p.m. at Schmitz Park Elementary.
The public is invited to attend, to hear about and provide input on the latest design considerations.