From the blog:
Your average developer creates spaces for living, working and playing and then moves on to the next project. Vulcan's role is unique because they have the power to shape not just one building, but an entire neighborhood and they will always have a presence in South Lake Union, even after the last brick is laid.
Naturally, the Vulcan team is acutely aware of their special status, which is why they also envision themselves as being responsible for connecting people in the neighborhood, their prime example being the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce. I was also surprised to learn that, since the new public school boundaries have been drawn, Vulcan's people have been working with parent advocates from Queen Anne to learn about what the school experience might be like for our kids. Call me naive, and I'm sure some of you will, but I had no idea they were so involved in the day to day details of family life in South Lake Union. (bold mine)
South Lake Union had stakeholders from both the South Lake Union and Queen Anne Community Councils sit down and work on recommendations that would work for their neighborhoods. The document they created talks about school creation and was signed by Susan Gorman of a group called South Lake Union Schools Coalition. This group includes the children served by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the Spruce Street School, downtown's only K-5 elementary school (private), Morningside Academy which is a private K-8, Cascade Children's Corner, a daycare/preschool and New Discovery School, a nursery-pre-K program.
From the document:
"Both South Lake Union and Uptown will absorb unprecedented growth in the next 10-20 years. The City's Comprehensive Plan targets these two centers for 20% of all new jobs and 20% of all new households in the city between now and 2024. There are no other areas in the City targeted for growth at so rapid a rate."
"Explore ways to accommodate schools to serve these neighborhoods. Consider nontraditional school models such as classrooms in various buildings vs a campus or special curriculum schools." (I'm not sure what they mean by special curriculum.)"
They also thank Councilman Conlin who participated (Sally Clark was there as well). Conlin mentioned to the Board at the recent joint meeting with the City Council and School Board for the district to NOT forget that the downtown area wants to have a school.
Now the district is already in the process of working out a deal with the City about Memorial Stadium. The initial plan is for the City to take over the parking lot space (with the parking lot going underground) and the City to trade that for a nearby parking garage. The district hasn't made specific plans but did say it could be used for a high school.
So that would leave K-8 to be served so maybe a K-8 is what might be created for this area.
I bring this to your attention because, fyi , Vulcan is owned by Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft). Mr. Allen, like Bill Gates, is pretty used to getting what he wants from the City (note how fast he got his streetcar). I don't think anyone will be waiting until 2014 to start on this so I suspect the district is already working on it in some way.
If we have that many more people (and their children) in that area, it does make sense. It does have big ramifications as opening a brand-new school in what is likely to be a brand-new building hasn't happened in a long time. (I'm think AAA was the last one.) Perhaps as soon as the district gets the parking garage, it may start having a plan in place to create a new high school while planning where to place a K-8 (or elementary and middle school).
Keep in mind that this neighborhood will want/require more services and infrastructure. There's a lot of neighborhoods out there that have been waiting for their turn and I have to wonder how much Mr. Allen will be able to get what he and the residents of this area will get and how soon.