Community Post

Mann school has a potential leasee too, plus more TT Minor

The most popular question from commenters in our Monday story about the potential lease of the TT Minor school building was whether there was similar activity for the Mann building at 24th & Cherry (former home of the Nova program).

We checked with Teresa Whipple, spokesperson at Seattle Schools, who said that yes, there is a lease deal in the works for the Mann building too. The “highest proposal” for the building came from a community service organization called “People’s Family Life Center.” We’re currently doing some additional research to find out who that is and what they have planned for the space (leave a comment below if you know).

The big remaining issue with that lease is the funding – the organization involved is looking to the city and state to help pay for the lease, and given the nature of government finances right now, that could be a challenge.

We also found that there is a time issue that drives the the school district to find organizations to occupy these buildings. Although boardmember Smith-Blum described it as “reverting to the city” in the case of TT Minor, Whipple tells us that the actual issue is one of city permitting. If the building stays vacant for more than 2 years, the city will require it to be brought completely up to modern code before being occupied again. A similar issue faces the old MLK Elementary building in Madison Valley, where the permitting clock runs out later this summer.

There have been additional questions about the TT Minor deal too, with rumored involvement of a daycare or preschool provider. Whipple confirmed that Hamlin-Robinson was the only party to that lease deal, but couldn’t say whether the lease would allow them to sublet extra space to other organizations.

Incidentally, the TT Minor lease will be discussed at a school board Operations Committee hearing today at 4pm.

0 thoughts on “Mann school has a potential leasee too, plus more TT Minor

  1. I’ll be really interested to hear anything more about possible Mann building leases in the future.

  2. I know they can’t just give the building away, but it would be great if the Umoja Center were able to at least help provide programming at the Mann building. They’ve done such incredible work at their current location on 24th and Spring, I have a feeling they’d continue that trend at Mann.

  3. Would you please elaborate on the ‘incredible work’ done by the Umoja Peace Center? I know they sell Christmas trees and that’s about it. What are the other activities? I bet I’m not the only one who’d like to know.


    I’m relatively new to the neighborhood (having just moved here in January), so I’m not necessarily the best authority, but Omari is tirelessly working on projects to restore the two buildings on the property and it seems like they have a very active and involved community of both youths and other long-time residents of the Central District.

  5. Have you ever spoke with anyone there? Have you ever considered contacting them to find out what they are doing and possibly making a donation to the UPC? Maybe I’m just picking up on something that isn’t really there but you sound unnecessarily skeptical of the place. Honestly, if there is something you want to know about the UPC why haven’t you found out whatever it is you want to know? This story is about the mann building and someone thought the UPC might be a good fit. Why does that person need to elaborate on the program (thanks for going the extra mile Fisher!)when you can look for yourself if you have questions.

  6. Yeah, you’re picking up on something that isn’t really there. I’ve known Saviour quite a few years & worked w/ him on a number of community projects. Fisher’s statement implied personal knowledge of ‘incredible work’, so I thought I’d ask for more info from this particular source and perspective, an apparent fan.

  7. I didn’t mean to infer that I had any particular knowledge of what UPC is doing or has done, only that Omari has expressed his desire to revitalize the Mann space. He has a number of creative ideas for the building and I was just hoping to bring people’s attention to UPC’s interest (I don’t know whether they’ve formally applied to lease the building or not). I’ve never seen someone work as hard as Omari and I think that given the opportunity, he and the rest of the UPC community would be great stewards of the space.

  8. I don’t pretend to know everything about UPC, but I do know that they do some things on an ongoing basis (classes on running a business, audio engineering, and computer use; discussion groups; art; chess; cultural awareness; science projects; youth baseball; green and sustainable gardening; music and spoken word; mentorship for women; community service) and they also sponsor events from time to time. Young people learned remodeling skills in the process of renovating the two houses. Young people have mentioned that their current space is constantly in use and not big enough to hold all the kids who want to participate there. I have attended a few events and have heard much encouraging feedback and nothing negative. Omari, Wyking, and Saviour all have worked hard to make it the positive program that it is, along with many other volunteers.

  9. People’s Family Life Center sounds like a religious organization. Reminds me of the mall-churches in the suburbs. *shudders*

  10. I spoke with someone who is listed as the contact person for the People’s Family Life Center via Seattle Schools Property Management. When I asked her the name of her organization, she did not mention “People’s Family Life Center”, but she did say that the organization in the building will be an education/training program for 16-21 year olds who have dropped out of school. The program is called “Work It Out”. She said they plan to do a lot of work in the building and that they expect to eventually need all of the space. However, it sounded like they would consider subleasing parts of the building, once they know how much space they will actually use.