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Monday, October 18, 2010

News from Magnolia

Here's an item of interest from the Magnolia Voice blog about the closed Magnolia School. On Saturday evening SPD officers were called in to search the building for squatters. There were also SPS security personnel involved. They found 3 squatters. From the blog;

Officers on the scene said that squatters hide in the building as well as the overgrown bushes and it’s a drain on resources for SPD to keep up with the abandoned property.

Brad (a Magnolia reader)says: “My concern, like many residents living around the school is Seattle Public schools doesn’t have any money to adequately keep up the property and deter crime, let alone do anything major with it. It’s time for them to sell and let someone develop it or turn it into parks. The view would bring a substantial price. Most important, this place needs to go. The safety factor alone for nearby families is an issue in our community.”

The school has been vacant for years. Last June we reported that several people broke into the school.

What is interesting is the comments have two views: sell it or keep it up. If you sell it (apparently there are great views), the district would get a good price but lose the land (which they could never afford to buy again). Is it conceivable that the district would need to open a new elementary in Magnolia? Probably not.

But, clearly, the district isn't able to keep up the building so it doesn't look abandoned. The SPD has issues trying to keep people out and we all know the district doesn't even maintain open buildings well so how can they keep up the closed ones?

Again, this issue of taking care of facilities is going to keep coming and coming. They can do maintenance "lite" but that's no help to closed buildings or the neighborhoods that surround them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great building to rent out. If the district knew it could get it back, there might not be too much of a problem renting it out in part or in whole.

Magnolia Resident.

Charlie Mas said...

Isn't it surprising that no one has thought to open a private school in this space?

You would think that there would be plenty of folks who would love to have access to a private school in that neighborhood.

There used to be a map that showed the number of students in private school by their home address. I remember that one of the densest was the north-end of Capitol Hill back when Montlake, McGilvra and Stevens all had long waitlists.

I wonder how the guaranteed access to a neighborhood school has altered that map.

There used to be a lot of private school students in Magnolia, but they may have been mostly in middle or high school and very few in elementary school.

Could someone open a private middle school in the space? A K-8?

Blaine has had waitlists at grade 6 for as long as it has been a K-8, but no waitlist at K. Lawton has not had a waitlist.

Unknown said...

Our house is about 2.5 blocks from the old Magnolia school. There is a beautiful new view park where the blacktop playground for the school used to be, courtesy of one of the recent park levies. It's called Ella Bailey. However, the school itself--up above the playground--is all boarded up, paint peeling, and overgrown. As I drive by everyday I think, "what a waste of a beautiful old building."

north seattle mom said...

The district is going to need another high school at some point in the next decade if the enrollment trends continue. The north end is out of middle school room and will be out of high school room pretty quickly as the larger cohorts move up.

Is there anyway that folks on Magnolia could lobby to turn that property into a high school and is there enough property to make a high school work? A high school on Magnolia certainly makes geographic sense. Not as much geographic sense as the old QA high school but that ship has sailed.

Anonymous said...

I bet McMennimans would like to turn it into something great! Like the Kennedy School in Portland, OR.

http://www.mcmenamins.com/427-kennedy-school-home