Monday, November 20, 2017

Seattle Schools Signs MOU with City about Memorial Stadium

This event happened today at Memorial Stadium.  (I would have been there but my invite got lost.) 
Representing SPS at the event was Vice-President Leslie Harris and Mayor Tim Burgess. 

To understand, the MOU is not legally binding and, going forward, the public will be part of the process about deciding what happens to Memorial Stadium.  This is a measure to get the discussion going.

To note, the district MUST keep this stadium because it serves as the home field for several high schools for football and soccer as well as hosting graduations.  The district has no other place for these events.  As to whether the stadium stays there, well, that's a good question to discuss.  

I have not yet seen the MOU (I believe it will be released tomorrow).  My understanding is that the district will keep 6 of the 9 acres it controls at Seattle Center AND the district will be part of the Fort Lawton EIS.  I am so happy on the latter because it simply keeps the district in the mix for the use of that property.

Thank you to Lisa Reibin Evans and Valerie Cooper for their tireless efforts on that front.

The Memorial Wall will be protected and moved in its entirety.

The City had wanted some of the property to put the parking lot underground which would likely increase the number of spaces AND get rid of an ugly parking lot.


Transparency Please said...

The MOU was not available for the public to see. Yet, we have the VP signing off and two members that have not been sworn into office at the event. Amazing.

I look forward to seeing the MOU. I'm also looking forward to hearing what the state has to say...especially since the state will not be responsible for capital projects. Does anyone think the state will give the district funding for a new school-- if we have capacity at Lincoln???

Transparency Please said...

We are looking at a back room deal. I don't want to hear any of the previously mentioned individuals talking about transparency; not when you are making back room deals with the city.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The two members were there to watch. I see nothing wrong with that.

As I stated, the MOU is not legally binding but is a starting place for a discussion.

But yes, I'm not sure we need another high school at this point but the room is there at both Seattle Center and Fort Lawton. My choice would be a great stadium/outdoor venue that both the City and district could use. It would really compliment anything new they do to Key Arena.

Oy said...

Let's see where the MOU will take us. It seems to me that a MOU should have been a multi-month process. Smells like a back room deal, to me.

Anonymous said...

You can watch the press conference here: http://www.seattlechannel.org/Mayor?videoid=x84956

And for clarification, the MOU is not a commitment that any specific school facilities will be built, but rather a a commitment to work together for the planning to refurbish memorial stadium and plan for needed new school facilities across the city. It is a commitment that the City and the District will increase collaborative and comprehensive planning efforts including looking a how to pay for new facilities and for the City to be open to giving land to the district. The City will be including school facilities in the EIS for Ft Lawton, as the school board recommended. There will be joint planning processes developed and community engagement. I don’t yet have the final MOU to post, but in the final draft I saw it is a huge step forward. This is not a back room deal where everything is a foregone conclusion. This is the start of a more meaningful planning process. I’m thrilled.

Eden Mack, School Board Director Elect, District 4

VC said...

I am also excited to see the hard work of hundreds/thousands of parents and school advocates who aimed to increase the conversations between the city and the district regarding planning for the next decades come to fruition. This is a great first step in that direction. There is no way SPS would have been included at Fort Lawton without our involvement. At this point, I see this as a win for the children of Seattle for the next decades

Transparency Please said...

According to the Seattle Weekly, SPS has entered into an "agreement" with the city- not a MOU. I look forward to hearing the differences between an "agreement" and a MOU.


Ultimately, Fort Lawton is a deal with the federal government.

Costs of the stadium are unknown. Some may like a state of the art stadium, but I question BEX dollars, allocation and give- away to philanthropic organizations. As previously mentioned, McCleary will not fund construction costs and the city is getting ready to ask tax payers for a big increase- before the district's ask.

Seattle receives $2M per year for parking at Memorial Stadium. Who will cover these costs during construction?

Anonymous said...

Est. cost is $175M for a new downtown high school with stadium:


Melissa Westbrook said...

“In addition to the stadium, city officials say they’ll work with the school district on plans for a new high school downtown and on including space for ball fields at a housing development planned for Ft. Lawton in the Magnolia neighborhood. Some residents had wanted a school built there, but that wasn't included in the agreement between the district and the city.“

Ah, so that let’s out any school at Ft Lawtonwhich disappoints me.

Anonymous said...

Memorial is a death trap and should be condemned now. I think a high school or middle and high school would be great. The city is going to have children downtown soon.
Put the stadium at Ft.Lawton, all we need is a field like the SW Athletic Facility or even as bare-bones as Ingraham's field. My neighbors here in Magnolia don't want poor people there, they may get sports fields and lights instead, or both.