It’s the last day of school in the Seattle School District, and possibly the last day of school forever at two Central District facilities. After a long battle with local parents, the district decided earlier in the year to closeand move the NOVA students from the to the building in Miller Park. The middle school program at Meany is also getting the axe, with existing students there being assigned to new schools according to their home address (it sounds like most are going to Washington Middle School on Jackson).
In addition to a lot of dispersed students, the move will leave us with two empty buildings. I spoke to school spokesman David Tucker yesterday and he said that the buildings will remain a part of the district’s inventory, with a possibility of reactivation if the district ever decides that neighborhood demographics warrant it. He also said that there is no plan to sell the buildings. But realistically that is completely at the option of the school board, which could pass a resolution at almost any time to dispose of surplus property.
Neighbors of the two buildings are understandably concerned about what will become of the empty properties. Mr. Tucker said that there is custodial staff that will still be assigned to take care of the properties and make sure they “remain viable” and do not descend into disrepair. In addition, school security will be keeping an eye on them to insure that they don’t become magnets for crime.
The empty structures will also be available for rental to community organizations, according to the same rates and policies as any other school district property. Details on that are available on the district’s website.
This is terrible for the schools, for the neighborhood and for the students. And something that’s bad for the students, should be something that’s bad for the district. I’m very sad to have only taken one class with a RIF’d teacher and now to be leaving the magical Mann building. R.I.P.
I’m really worried about the Mann building. It seems like it will just fall into disrepair and decay and trouble.
There is still an effort underway to save TT Minor.
A concerned (and tireless) parent has been speaking with the school board and has received a commitment from School Board President Michael DeBell that if she can find 300 students to attend the school, he will keep TT Minor open. They have received 200 plus signatures so far but they need more!
The intent is to keep TT Minor open as a regular elementary school with an further emphasis on art and foreign language instruction. There is talk of partnering with Pratt for art and other partners for music instruction. The free pre-school would remain as well.
There are forms to fill out available at Tougo Coffee or you can call 206-323-7413 for more information.
I find it really hard to believe that DeBell has the authority to keep Minor open. Doesn’t the rest of the board have to vote on this? As soon as I heard about this, I assumed DeBell made his “find 300 students and I’ll keep Minor open” comment in jest — basically daring them to find 300 people would who want to send their kids there.
Still, good luck – it’d be great for the neighborhood if it succeeds.