Seattle City Council passes legislation that will make it easier for Seattle Central to build new student housing on E Pine

The Seattle City Council earlier this week unanimously approved legislation form-fitted to Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central College that will ease the way for the school to build much-needed new housing affordable to students close to its Broadway campus.

In Tuesday’s 9-0 vote, councilmembers approved legislation that tweaks city code would allow a new amendment process for Major institution Master Plan changes to allow “a one-time addition of student or employee housing.” The change will allow “a single development with residential uses at community colleges in Urban Centers to be approvable as a minor amendment to an existing MIMP when certain criteria are met.”

The passage will boost Seattle Central’s plan to replace the school’s giant E Pine parking garage with a new apartment development. On the site where the massive, 510-stall E Pine and Harvard parking garage now rises, there will be more than 500 beds of new housing. The existing garage would be demolished and rebuilt — underground — with about 260 parking spots, which would include charging stations for electric bikes and cars. Continue reading

Proposal would ease path to Seattle Central demolishing its massive Capitol Hill parking garage to make way for student housing development — and, don’t worry, more parking

A design rendering of planned new SCC housing at Harvard and Pine

A Seattle City Council committee Wednesday will take up legislation to tweak city land use code to allow schools like Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central College to build much-needed new housing affordable to students close to urban campuses.

The council’s Land Use Committee chaired by Dan Strauss (D6 — NW Seattle) will consider the proposal form-fitted for SCC that would change code to allow its plans for hundreds of units of new student housing in a development replacing the school’s massive, multi-story parking garage that rises at Harvard and Pine.

The legislative tweak to city code would allow a new amendment process for Major institution Master Plan changes to allow “a one-time addition of student or employee housing.” The change would allow “a single development with residential uses at community colleges in Urban Centers to be approvable as a minor amendment to an existing MIMP when certain criteria are met.” Continue reading

Giving time to solve budget crunch, faculty union says programs including Seattle Central’s Culinary Academy and Apparel Design and Development school will remain open through fall

The Apparel Design and Development will be among the programs funded through next fall (Image: Seattle Central)

The labor union representing faculty at Seattle Colleges says the system’s Culinary Academy, Maritime Academy, Wood Technology, PACT, and Apparel Design and Development school will remain open through the fall quarter buying the important programs much needed time to secure long term funding amid a growing budget crunch.

“Sustainable funding still needs to be secured for these programs for 2023 and beyond,” the statement posted Wednesday night by AFT Seattle reads. “Faculty & Staff at Seattle Colleges are still demanding fair wages and transparency when decisions about programs are made. The fight’s not over yet!” Continue reading

Seattle abortion rights rallies and protests planned in response to Supreme Court leak — UPDATE: Hundreds march

(Images: @mmitgang with permission to CHS)

UPDATE 5/4/2022: A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people gathered in Seattle’s Westlake Plaza Wednesday night for an abortion rights rally and march that filled the city’s downtown streets with hundreds calling for protection of reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court leak. Continue reading

With behind the scenes challenges and financial turmoil for the arts, Intiman Theatre ready for Capitol Hill debut

Intiman and Seattle Central’s partnership offers an associate of arts degree, allowing for students and union members to work alongside another on mainstage productions (Image: Intiman)

costume designer Pete Rush puts the finishing touches on Jesse Calixto’s dress for the Irma Vep production (Image: Intiman)

By Danielle Marie Holland

In the face of the pandemic, Capitol Hill’s theater community is trying to grow. This February, Intiman Theatre debuts its first production in its new home on Capitol Hill. This will be Intiman’s first stage production since COVID cast theaters across the country into darkness — and first on Harvard Ave.

It comes amid a backdrop of huge challenges for Seattle arts organizations and financial tumult for crucial public services that have its new partner Seattle Central seeking new paths to overcome deepening budgetary shortfalls.

Intiman Theatre is now ready to kick off its first production since the “before times” with The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful directed by Jasmine Joshua, and staged at The Erickson Theatre Off-Broadway.

“I can pretty much speak for all theatre artists, that the last few years have been pretty devastating,” director Joshua tells CHS. Continue reading

Small protests on Capitol Hill mark Rittenhouse acquittal in Seattle

A group of people dressed in black bloc marched around Cal Anderson Friday night while a small protest gathered Sunday night at Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central to demonstrate after last week’s acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts in the 2020 Kenosha shootings.

Friday night, a group of a few dozen was reported marching on Broadway and through Pike/Pine. Police reported the scene as “a group size of about 75 people all dressed in black attire with helmets, shields, face coverings and protective eyewear.” SPD says it formed a “task force” with officers from other precincts coming to the area due to the size of the group “and small number of officers.” No significant property damage was reported and SPD said it made no arrests. Continue reading

Harvard Ave repaving: a city priority before rains set in

City of Seattle street work crews are in a hurry. Seattle rain is coming. You’ll see a crew the next couple days working on one of the bumpiest stretches for drivers and riders on Capitol Hill — Harvard Ave behind Seattle Central.

“We strive to accomplish as many paving projects as possible before the rainy season arrives,” a city spokesperson tells CHS.

The planned two-day paving project — weather permitting! — is planned to stretch on Harvard Ave from E Denny Way south to just below E Olive St. Continue reading

Intiman Homecoming street party and performances joins growing list of in-person Capitol Hill events coming soon

Capitol Hill’s in-person events calendar is beginning to fill up including a new “homecoming” celebration planned for September to mark the arrival of Intiman Theater in the neighborhood.

The Intiman Homecoming street party is being planned as a ticketed event and will fill Harvard with performance, vendors, and celebration between Pike and Pine the weekend of September 18th.

The event will celebrate the theater group’s new partnership and programs at Seattle Central: Continue reading

Seattle Central president Edwards Lange named to UW Tacoma post

Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange (Image: SCC)

After six years of leadership at Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central College, Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange will leave her post this summer after being selected as chancellor of University of Washington Tacoma.

For Edwards Lange, the new post is an opportunity to expand her work from leading an academic institution dedicated to students in the core neighborhoods of a major city to an opportunity to shape learning for an entire growing city and region in the South Sound.

“Tacoma is beginning to experience a lot of the same things that Seattle did maybe 10 years ago,” Edwards Lange said. “An explosion in growth.”

First taking the role of president at SCC on an interim basis in 2015, Edwards Lange’s tenure leading Seattle Central has been most marked by the past year of challenges including the COVID-19 crisis and Black Lives Matter protests that shook the neighborhood. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Seattle Central Class of 2021 celebrates socially-distanced graduation above Harvard and Pine

For the second June in a row, graduates from Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central College had to celebrate their accomplishments with a socially distanced ceremony. For the second June in a row, they made the best of it.

CHS stopped by Saturday as SCC graduates marked the milestone with a celebratory drive/walk ceremony atop the school’s Harvard and Pine parking garage. Continue reading