Since 1982, the Northwest Center’s child development program has leased the former North Queen Anne Elementary School from the Seattle school district.
The district closed the school on First Avenue West in 1981 because of low enrollment, but now wants the building back to house a program that helps children who are home schooled.
The center offers an integrated childcare and preschool program for children with and without developmental disabilities. Northwest Center Kids, founded by parents of children with developmental disabilities in 1965, serves infants as young as six months, preschool age children, and school-age children from ages 5 to 12 in before and after school programs.
Parents are reaching out to the Seattle school board and the media to make their case for more time to make the move. They say they understand that the district needs more space and they want to negotiate in good faith, but they will need at least two years to work through the logistical, licensing and permit hurdles a move would mean.
District spokeswoman Teresa Wippel said the district plans to use the building for the Cascade Parent Partnership Program, which provides home schooled children with supplementary instruction. That program has to move because its current home, the Wilson-Pacific School, is being razed and replaced with a new middle school and elementary school.
Wippel said the district is considering the old Van Asselt building, located at 7201 Beacon Ave. S., as a new home for the Northwest Center.
“If Van Asselt ends up being a good fit, we will work with the state to try to expedite the licensing process,” Wippel said.