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January 14, 2020

Seattle school district to build $90M replacement for Northgate Elementary

Photo provided by city of Seattle [enlarge]
Noted architect Paul Thiry designed Northgate Elementary, which opened in 1956. The building faces a city landmark review.

Seattle Public Schools plans to start construction in the summer of 2021 on a replacement for Northgate Elementary School adjacent to the current school at 11725 First Ave. N.E.

NAC Architecture is designing the new 650-seat school, which is expected to be finished for the 2023-24 school year. It will serve kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

The total project budget is $90.3 million.

The 2019 Building Excellence V Capital Levy will fund the replacement and provide technology equipment and services, such as computers, peripherals, printers and other technology for teaching and learning.

The school district said the current school with its students and staff will remain on-site during construction.

Noted architect Paul Thiry designed Northgate Elementary School, which opened in 1956. According to HistoryLink, Thiry exerted a major influence in the emergence of the “Northwest style” of architecture as an early proponent of modernist design, while also advancing urban ideals.

The district said the approximately 300-seat Northwest Elementary School is at capacity. It said it is coordinating with Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board to determine whether the school is a city landmark.

The district said that if the current school is landmarked, the replacement would likely have to incorporate some or all of the school, “however it's too early to determine.”

The city on Monday said it has received a landmarks nomination application for the school from the school district, but a date hasn't been set for the board to consider it.

The city is seeking people for an advisory committee that makes recommendations to the Department of Construction and Inspections on modifications to zoning requested for the Northgate Elementary project. The modifications are: 1) greater-than-allowed building height; 2) reduced on-site parking; 3) reduced bicycle parking; 4) off-site bus loading, and 5) an electronic message board. The recommendations would be made following public input.

To be on the committee, you must live or own a business or property within 600 feet of the school, live in the surrounding neighborhood, be a representative of citywide education issues, PTO member, or a parent of a Northgate Elementary student. The committee will also include a representative from the school district and the city.

To apply, send a letter of interest by Jan. 17 including your address, information about yourself and your interest in being on the committee to: Maureen.Sheehan@seattle.gov or P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649. Sheehan may be reached at (206) 684-0302.

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