Fort Lawton Redevelopment update

Posted on October 11th, 2017 by Sara


Many have been asking what is going on with the Seattle Public School Board and the Fort Lawton Redevelopment. Magnolia Voice spoke with Valerie Cooper from the Fort Lawton School Coalition and Queen Anne and Magnolia Parent Leadership Council.  Here’s the latest:

“Much thanks to our earnest, hard-working, mindful, forward-thinking School Board who unanimously passed a resolution on 10/4 directing SPS to request to collaborate in the master re-development of Fort Lawton.

The district is asking for the opportunity to have a portion of the land be included for school use – this process will enable a school to eventually be built at this site. If the city allows the school into the redevelopment, (during the cities public comment period regarding the site, the vast majority the of public input favored school here), SPS could receive the land at a substantial discount of 70-80%, or 100% discount for a school to be built there.  We, Fort Lawton School Coalition and the Queen Anne and Magnolia Parent Leadership Council believe it behooves the Seattle City Council to openly and earnestly collaborate with Seattle public schools as any development in the city should also address the impact on educational needs. I am happy to announce that each of the PTA boards or full PTA’s of the schools in our McClure feeder cluster also participated in this ask by passing resolutions asking for the school district to make this request for Fort Lawton.

It is important to note that Seattle Public Schools is not asking for all 29 acres of the land. They will be asking for a portion of the land. Seattle public schools is eligible and will be able to qualify for this land through the Department of Education (which requires the district to be a part of the city’s master redevelopment plan). The funding for whatever development SPS plans for this site must be in hand at the time of application to the Department of Education. This application doesn’t take place until the final master development of the land is completed, still at least a year away. However, SPS does not seem to have funds to build a school building in it’s initial use, so the district is unlikely to get the land at no-cost.  Approved uses of the land include athletic fields, maintenance facilities, and administrative sites, all of which would require very little development. If SPS’s application is approved, the district can also indicate a timeline for a future school to be built there, or they can amend their application at any point during the 30-year period that the Department of Education oversees the title of the land. After the 30 year oversight, the title is free and clear forever for Seattle public schools.

The School Board Directors recognize that hard work is ahead of them in securing the Fort Lawton site, that the district staff must earnestly and collaboratively work with city partners to develop an implementation of this resolution, but they are willing to think of the students of our district for generations to come!

Please thank the SPS school board!

At this point, we need the city to agree to work with SPS.  We will have many calls to action regarding our encouragement of the city to be a good partner with Seattle public schools.  To start:

tim.burgess@seattle.gov (mayor)

council@seattle.gov

sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov (our city council rep)

Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov

bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov

Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov

Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov

Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov

mike.OBrien@seattle.gov

You can see video of the School Board resolution and find lots of resources at our website.”

 


One response to “Fort Lawton Redevelopment update”

  1. Les Bois says:

    Not long ago there was a school on West Raye St., near West Viewmont Way W. It was sold and demolished. The property was redeveloped into densely-packed McMansions. Now the city wants more land to build a new school? Forget about it.

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