January 9, 2013 at 4:01 PM
More portables, new middle school proposed to ease overcrowding in Seattle schools
To find enough space for its growing enrollment, Seattle Public Schools is considering opening a new middle school in north Seattle in fall 2013, and placing about two dozen more portables in schools around the district.
The school board has yet to approve the plans, which were recommended by the board’s operations committee, and developed by district staff with input from a citizens advisory committee and testimony at community meetings.
The School Board plans to vote on the proposals Jan. 23.
The proposals won’t solve the district’s long term space needs — that’s the goal of the $695 million construction levy that will go before voters this February along with a second, $552 million operations levy. These latest recommendations are designed to take care of space needs in the 2013-14 school year.
The proposed new middle school, designed to ease overcrowding at Eckstein and Hamilton middle schools, would open in the Jane Addams building in north Seattle, across the street from Nathan Hale High School. The Jane Addams K-8 environmental science school, which now occupies that building, would share the space with the new middle school. Assuming that the construction levy passes in February,the environmental school would eventually move to a new building at the district’s Pinehurst site in north Seattle.
Under the recommendations, fifth-graders who now attend John Rogers, Olympic Hills and Sacajawea elementaries would be assigned to the new middle school next fall. It would open with a class of mostly sixth-graders, then grow from there.
The board also will consider whether to assign students from Laurelhurst Elementary to Eckstein Middle instead of Hamilton Middle.
The recommendations include adding classroom space to some buildings by converting rooms now used for other purposes.
All together, the proposed changes are expected to cost an estimated $3.6 million.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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