Having not heard anything for several months on the status of the Mann Building (Nova) or T.T. Minor, I thought I’d take a tour through the Seattle Schools website.
Looks like the School Board had a meeting on April 15. Here a link to the Presentation.
Of note are that TT Minor and Mann are not considered buildings that should be held for areas of the city that are expeted to experience growth in School Age Population.
“Buildings in areas of the City projected for growth but school age population may not be a factor (e.g. Downtown – Capital Hill)
– TT Minor
So, what is the future of these spaces? Will they serve as offices? Educational space? Of will they sit vacant and blight the neighborhood?
Anyone know anthing?
I was going to post on the Mann building this morning- including pictures of the district movers who were onsite today. (Yes, packing and moving a month before the end of school, starting the very same day as our auction.)
The Nova community is rallying, again, as they this week learned that two of their primary and coordinating staff have been RIFed. Details are in the works for an information/problem solving session the evening of May 28th. District leadership, city officials, families and neighbors are all invited. Stay tuned for details.
Legal appeals on these and all other closures continue. With deep pockets, an injunction could be filed, but as is, appellants are representing themselves pro se, with a September 28 date in court.
As for the Mann building, while I am incredibly sad at the loss of this home for Nova, I am very concerned that both it and TT Minor will sit empty while the district works through the bureaucracy of deeming the properties “surplus”. I’ve heard that this is a 3-year process, minimum. It’s come up here in the past, but does it make sense to work on landmark status for Mann? It is a beautiful building- come and see for yourselves on May 28. The district plans to lock the doors on June 25.
It’s on the inventory and should be worth going for Landmark status:
Interestingly, the page says that it’s in an area that might be considered a historic district. There are a lot of buildings on the inventory in the CD and not very many landmarked. This building is a gem. I’d support going for landmark status.
Bit of a process but, with especially folks who have been users of the building and have a special relationship with it, doesn’t seem hard to do a nomination. Maybe line up folks and community groups to write letters and come to testify, etc.
Maybe some of us can get together and figure it out further?
See this post for many more comments on this topic:
can we landmark tt minor too?
I don’t see TT Minor on the inventory when I searched for it.
Getting that going would be yet another effort. I believe there are a lot of sites in the CD that should be added to the inventory. HOW to do that is not so clear cut. Seems a group would need to initiate another inventory process.
However, and this is important, there are many sites already on the inventory that are being torn down even as we speak because they a: were not taken through the landmarks application process, or b: we haven’t figured out a way of protecting them in other ways, i.e., neighborhood overlays.
Given the notes on the Mann Building, it should be an easy one. But, it needs to come from the community. I’ll support it if folks want to get together on this. You all know how to find me. http://canpluosh.wordpress.com/
It has been decided by the Seattle School District to keep the Mann building boarded up for three years. No other plans have been made yet for it.
The reason that I know this is that I am a Nova parent and an architect and one of my arguments for keeping the Mann building open was because it would otherwise become another boarded up and vacant property in the CD.
If someone can get the Mann building on the historical register that would be great but you might get resistance from SPS. They don’t seem to care about the impact that their decisions have on our communities.
Also, next time you hear about a school closing, please think about how it will impact you and your community and maybe even your future life as a family. No one else seemed to care that schools were closing except for parents. But without a school, you really don’t have a community. What young couples want to move into an area where there are no schools?
By the way, the census has projected that there is to be 30%-100% growth of families into the CD and Capitol Hill area from 2005-2012. That is the exact opposite of the reasoning that the School Board and Dr. Goodloe-Johnson gave for closing TT Minor and the Mann Building. Also, the Mayor’s Master Plan has projected a tremendous growth of a family population in the Capitol Hill and CD area in the next few years.
With both of those schools gone, there will no longer be a primary school and with the move of the Meany students to different locations, there will no longer be a middle school in our area either. That is where the Nova program and the SBOC programs are to be located.
I wish that my neighbors had understood this before because it’s too late now to keep these programs open at these locations.
government will sell items it doesn’t need any longer
There have been several properties that SPS owns and has chosen not to do anything with for many years. They will wait for three years and then make a decision. Maybe by that time, people will be buying property again and be willing to invest the money into the Mann building for another use, but we will be looking at a boarded up piece of property for three years now. That will not help our local businesses or our neighborhoods, particularly if you are trying to sell your house.
I think that is part of the frustration, jd98. Government projections (school district and city) show continued growth and increasing density in our area. Therefore, it’s reasonable to think we will “need” these schools and programs.
And, Dora, I hear your sadness and frustration. It’s been a lonely struggle at times. For me, it’s become increasing clear that no school operates in a vacuum. I do hope that Nova (and SBOC) is well received by the Meany community of Miller Park. Ideally, the school will invite neighbors to learn about the strength and importance of its programs, with an eye towards building mutually beneficial relationships.
It was of great concern to the community that these schools were slated to be closed. Folks on this blog got the rest of us to write letters and get educated. The community lost this round in my view.
The benefit of the district holding onto the property for a few years is that maybe they will see the error of their ways and the facilities will be available. However, the properties need to be used. They can be leased out on a yearly basis. Otherwise IMO, the community will have to demand that they fence the property off and pay for security because that amount of land unused is going to be a magnet for undesirable activities.
I agree with kt — best if the building is not accessible (unlikely) or put to good use. How best to influence SSD to make it available for lease?
Start talking with the people in facilities. They may give you information on the process, steps required, timeline and such. Also wouldn’t hurt to speak at a board meeting.
Even better information may come from groups and organizations who have leased and or adopted other school properties- Youngstown, Phinney, University Heights, Good Shepard…
Also, look at these sites for possible information on persuing landmark status for the Mann building.
This project in NOLA inspired me, especially after the school closes. Art Studio, community center? Theatre? Event/Show space?
Have to echo what kt writes here – I spoke at a TT Minor hearing to a School Board that by and large seemed to have very little interest in actually having a discussion about the school and its community, and had probably already made up its mind at that point.
I am a parent, but I don’t have a child in Seattle Public Schools. I am a neighbor, and I fully recognize what schools bring to the community – and I am fully aware of what will happen if we can’t provide public school options to young families. They’ll leave, and Seattle will be San Francisco.