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Seattle Prep’s start on $26 million project part of construction wave at Hill’s private schools

8445417198_63894acd01_oWith 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).

Northwest School's new gym, cafeteria and theater at Pike at Bellevue

Northwest School’s new gym, cafeteria and theater at Pike at Bellevue

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.

From Prep's capital campaign web site where you can also tune in to the construction cam later this summer

From Prep’s capital campaign web site where you can also tune in to the construction cam later this summer


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Prost Seattle
Prost Seattle
9 years ago

Why are tax free bonds being issued for a private school?

Prost Seattle
Prost Seattle
9 years ago
Reply to  jseattle

It just seems incongruous to me that we are waving taxes paid on bond revenue (most likely purchased from those who can afford to pay them) tofinance school construction for families that can afford tuitions of $16,000 per year.

9 years ago
Reply to  Prost Seattle

The rich want their handout too. But they don’t use that word when they do it. They reserve that word for the poor who are just asking for some help to put food on the table. That’s blasphemy I tell ya.


[…] slated to open in January 2014. CHS has reported that the new Mithun-designed building is part of a wave of multi-million dollar construction projects at Capitol Hill private schools. Meanwhile, Seattle Public Schools will spend a planned $23 […]