As I suspected, the Seattle School Board and the schools administration is closing in on a decision to not open a school downtown and to let slip away a rare opportunity presented by the availability of the old Federal Reserve building [“Board unsure it can afford ‘free’ site for downtown school,” Local News, Oct. 26].
Their strategy involved first presenting a deficient plan to the U.S. General Services Administration — they must have known would be rejected. However this allowed them to say “well we tried” and bought them time to think up further reasons not to move forward. They now maintain that currently overcrowded schools are not downtown. That’s obviously because there are none downtown. Perhaps overcrowding elsewhere might be mitigated.
They also don’t want to borrow the $53 million required to convert the building. Well, they had no problem borrowing $53 million to build a brand new building to house the district’s top-heavy administration, did they?
Downtown Vancouver, B.C., has three schools and it is absurd that downtown Seattle with about half the population has none. Perhaps the Vancouver School Board decided years ago that requiring downtown residents to drive their children to outlying campuses was an unnecessary burden and that the concept of neighborhood schools applied to all parts of their city.
Paul Gutowski, Seattle