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Seattle Academy plans new $48 million middle school at 13th and E Union


(Image: SAAS)

The Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences is preparing to start another major upgrade to its Capitol Hill campus. The private secondary school is planning a new $48 million middle school at 13th and E Union.

The five-story, 87,500-square-foot Cardinal Union building will include larger classrooms, a new gym, and Capitol Hill’s second rooftop playground/play field. The LMN Architects plans call for the the gym and rooftop play field to connect from the Cardinal Union to the school’s existing gym building. In 2014, Capitol Hill’s Northwest School unveiled a new facility that included a gymnasium and sports field above E Pike.

GYMRender2Construction will require the demolition of two Seattle Academy buildings on the block.

Seattle Academy’s middle school is currently located inside a building at 15th and E Union owned by Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

Despite all the construction, enrollment is not expected to increase at the school, which has around 765 students in grades 6-12. Tuition at the school is around $30,000 a year.

According to Seattle Academy, a construction start date is dependent on meeting its fundraising goals, but plans are to open the building by fall 2018. The school is currently $5 million short of its $35 million fundraising campaign (PDF) to overhaul its campus facilities.

While the school plans to re-sign it’s lease with Temple De Hirsch in 2018, the middle school’s move will place most of Seattle Academy’s within one block, bounded by 13th and 14th Aves and E Union and E Spring.

Seattle Academy just finished up its new $20 million science and technology building down the block at 13th and Spring. The 35,000 square-foot STREAM building (STEM plus robotics and arts) opened to students in September.

The STREAM Building (Image: SAAS)

The STREAM Building (Image: SAAS)

In the late ’90s, the academy’s arts programs were located in the old auto row building that is now home to the Northwest Film Forum.

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4 years ago

It’s unfortunate that, as Seattle Academy grows, the impact on the neighborhood in terms of parents dropping off and picking up their kids, also gets worse. When SA bought the former Choice Medical building things improved slightly, because there is currently a parking lot that is very easy for ‘drive by’ parents to use, and SA employs people to direct on-site traffic at peak times.

Once this new building is up, I anticipate the impact to residents in the block occupied by SA to get worse again – I don’t believe for one instant (after over a decade of observing SA-related traffic and behavior) that parents will bother using the parking garage when they can just idle in the middle of the street.