The Horace Mann building is on track for a major renovation and addition. The Department of Planning and Development approved Seattle Public Schools’ plan, which will get the building ready for the return of the NOVA alternative high school.
NOVA has been housed in the old Meany building near Miller Park since 2009. But with voter approval of the BEX IV schools levy in February, the District now hopes to reopen Meany as a middle school and get Horace Mann back in shape.
Meanwhile, a group led in part by Wyking Garrett of Umojafest PEACE Center have been pushing for more community space and programming in the Horace Mann building. From the More 4 Mann campaign:
Our vision is for Horace Mann to be a hub of dynamic programming and activities, focused on positive education, culture, youth and community economic development outcomes that honors our heritage in the Central District. Consistent with the vision of what every school should be, we want Horace Mann to become a place where our children’s education, dreams and community intersect.
Details on the project, from the Determination of Non-Significance document:
The building was originally constructed as the Walla Walla School in 1902 and renamed the Horace Mann School in 1921. The school was an elementary school until 1968, when it was closed. The building was used as an annex for Garfield High School for several years and also housed an alternative program called the Extended Services Program. The NOVA Alternative High School was housed in the Horace Mann School from 1975 to 2009, when it moved to its current location at the Meany School site. The Horace Mann School site is currently leased to Peoples Family Life and houses the Work-It-Out Pilot Project. The Seattle Amistad School, a private elementary school, subleases portions of the building from Peoples Family Life.
The existing building is largely unchanged from the original 1902 construction. Alterations have mainly consisted of repairs and interior upgrades for safety and educational purposes. Most of the finishes on the interior of the first and second floors are largely original, although the original lighting has been replaced.
Here’s what the changes will include:
The new two-story addition would include:
- Four general classrooms, a science classroom with a prep room, and an art classroom with a darkroom.
- New restrooms on the basement, first and second floors.
- A new exit stairway on the north end.
- Either a small addition at the basement level to house the elevator, restrooms, and a corridor connecting to the existing basement level or under an alternative bid, an unfinished basement to house four future classrooms.
The existing Horace Mann building would be remodeled to include:
- Reconfiguration of the main office on the first floor.
- A remodeled principal’s office and administrator’s office on the second floor.
- Updated classrooms, including white boards and projection systems.
- New science and dance classrooms on the basement level.
- A new kitchenette and a room with rough-ins for future development of a kitchen at the basement level.
Other features include:
- A new parking area created by restriping existing asphalt and installing a new curb cut from East Columbia Street for access.
- Two new light poles for the upgraded parking lot.
- Upgrades to the existing mechanical systems, including new high efficiency condensing boilers, pumps, and improved zone control.
- Installation of a rain garden on the northwest corner of the property to capture roof runoff prior to discharge to the existing stormwater system.
- Replacement of the existing on-site combine sewer/stormwater system on the west side of the site with a new connection to the existing combined stormwater system in East Cherry Street.
- Repair and/or replacement of sidewalk sections, including regrading where necessary to meet ADA requirements.
- Removal of the two portables from the school site under a separate project.
Here’s the full document: