Seattle Academy rolls out plan for new sciences building at 13th and Spring


The academy's robotics lab these days sometimes includes nearby High 5 Pie (Image: SAAS)

The academy’s robotics lab these days sometimes includes nearby High 5 Pie (Image: SAAS)

Neighbors living near 13th and Spring will learn more about the project to create a new $20 million science building on the campus of the Seattle Academy of Arts… and Sciences.

“We’ve had a strong science program in spite of the facilities,” Rob Phillips, Assistant Head of School said of the sometimes patchwork solutions to finding space for everything from chemistry class to the robotics club at the private middle and high school.

The new project isn’t required to take the same design review path as other large projects but the school is still reaching out to present its plans to the community:

After the regular 12th Avenue Stewards meeting on Tuesday May 14 (5:30-7:00pm), lead architect David Miller will talk about and answer questions about the project to neighbors. The presentation is on the 12th Ave Stewards agenda and we are also going door to door with the local neighbors to let them know.

Designed by Miller Hull, the 35,000 square-foot facility will house math, science, arts and technology classrooms. It will connect to other campus buildings via internal corridors to help minimize the noise from student foot traffic at the school that bridges Pike/Pine and Union’s busy retail activity and residential areas. Capitol Hill Seattle first wrote about the project in March.

The new STEM-style education facility (“which, in our vision, will be a STREAM building, with the addition of Robotics and the integration of Arts,” Academy officials like to emphasize) also represents a sort of rounding out of the school’s well-regarded offerings.

In the late ’90s, the academy’s arts programs were located in the old auto row building that is now home to the Northwest Film Forum. It was old. It was funky. But it was also not practical for a growing school. Academy officials see the investment in a new science building as a comparative moment of completion for the 700-student school.

A capital campaign to raise funding for the project will be put in motion later this year. Groundbreaking for construction could come next spring with a possible opening for first classes in 2015.

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