Seattle Public Schools had a feeling they'd be growing again, and they were right. Another 1,300 students are signed up for classes starting next year, forcing the district to get creative in order to make space.
"That's our biggest challenge is really how do we meet those needs knowing the resources aren't coming in at the same rate students are,” said Flip Herndon, Assistant Superintendent for Capital, Facilities, and Enrollment at Seattle Public Schools.
Those resources are dependent on levies because as Seattle continues to grow, so do its schools. How will the district do it? By repurposing old buildings, putting up more portables, and for students, enduring more shuffling.
For example, elementary students at Jane Adams are moving to the John Marshall building near Green Lake for two years while a new school is built for them on the site of the former Pinehurst Elementary School.
Wilson-Pacific currently houses the Cascade Parent Partnership Program, which will move in the winter of 2015 to the former Queen Anne Elementary Building. When that happens, Wilson-Pacific will be torn down to make room for a new elementary school and middle school.
"Part of this is balancing out where students are and making sure boundaries will even out the growth we have there," Herndon said.
Jane Addams School is embracing this new era. But district planners also know creativity can only go so far.
"We can't solve everybody's challenges and ultimately not everyone's gonna be happy with the solution," said Herndon.
If they continue at their current pace, the district expects to be serving some 60,000 students by 2020, up from 52,000 this fall.