With the end of the school year — and thanks in part to $10 million in tax free bonds from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Capitol Hill’s Seattle Prep is digging in on a $26 million overhaul including the demolition of one of the oldest buildings on the 108-year-old campus to make sure the school’s 700+ students make it safely through the next big Seattle earthquake.
“By issuing these bonds, the commission is helping Seattle Prep step into a new phase, one that provides a learning environment better suited to 21st-century educational needs,” Seattle Preparatory School president Kent Hickey said in a statement.
Students participated in a groundbreaking ceremony and blessing for the project Friday at the Catholic, Jesuit school at 2400 11th Ave E.
CHS wrote here about the 2008 seismic study that triggered the much needed construction project as surveyors found significant earthquake risks inside one of the school’s main buildings and “structural deficiencies” in another:
Up the hill at the school’s main campus on 11th Ave E, a renovation and expansion of Peyton Hall would change the center of the school’s grounds. Designed by LMN Architects, the new section would bring the building’s front closer to the center of campus and create a new entryway.
The expansion would make up for space lost in the demolition of Adelphia Hall, which is showing signs of its age and has “safety deficiencies,” according to a presentation on the project by Seattle Prep last year (2010).
In addition to the $10 million in bonds, more than half of the project’s $26 million price tag is being picked up by an impressive capital campaign started in 2011. Tuition to attend the school now exceeds $16,000 a year and its reputation attracts students from across the greater Seattle area.
The project joins a wave of major projects underway at Capitol Hill’s private middle and high schools. Crews are in the midst of construction on the $15 million Northwest School gym+cafeteria+theater project at Pike and Bellevue. Meanwhile, the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences has announced plans for a $20 million science building at 13th and Spring.
Meanwhile, Seattle Public Schools will spend a planned $23 million of levy money to open a middle school on Capitol Hill’s Meany campus on 19th Ave by 2017.
The Housing Finance Commission’s projects include financing nonprofit facilities, school officials said in a statement. Since 1990, the body has issued tax-exempt bonds on behalf of 37 schools and educational organizations, according to the commission’s statement about the Seattle Prep bonds.