Summit Public Schools Approved to Open 6-12th Grade Public Charter School in West Seattle Next Fall
West Seattle area students and families will now have another public school choice for middle and high school, after the Washington State Charter School Commission today unanimously approved a new charter for Summit Public Schools.
The West Seattle school will open to an inaugural sixth grade class and ninth grade class in August 2016, eventually rolling up to a full 6-12th grad school over the next four years.
All Summit Public Schools are publicly funded and free to attend. Each Summit Public School’s mission is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to not only attend, but succeed in, a four-year college or university. The West Seattle school is Summit Public Schools’ third location in the Puget Sound. School starts next week for students at Summit Sierra, a 9-12th high school in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, and for Summit Olympus, a 9-12th high school in Tacoma.
Summit has already secured a building for the new West Seattle school through Pacific Charter School Development, which acquired the property at the Southwest corner of 35th and Roxbury. And longtime Summit educator Greg Ponikvar plans to launch the new school and will serve as the principal. He is moving to the community this summer.
Council Dedicates Property Sale Proceeds Toward Affordable Rental Housing
Council unanimously adopted legislation today which dedicates the proceeds of a surplus City property sale toward developing low-income rental housing. Councilmember Nick Licata revised the bill to specify that half of the proceeds must serve households with incomes under 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and the other half must serve households with incomes under 60 percent of AMI.
The property, located in the Miller Park neighborhood at 339 22nd Avenue East, consists of two parcels, which will be sold through an open and competitive bidding process. The City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services estimates the property will generate $775,000. Before allocating the proceeds, approximately $38,000 of the funds must first go toward repaying a grant used to install a sprinkler system on the property in 2009.
The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Advisory Committee final report included a recommendation that the City prioritize surplus properties for affordable housing, or if not suitable for development, to dedicate the proceeds to affordable housing (page 19). The legislation adopted today aligns with that recommendation.
The site was most recently operated by the Goodwill Development Association, which ended operations in 2012. The property has been vacant ever since.
City Invests in Pacific Tower
Mayor Murray and the Office of Economic Development announced today the award of critical tax credits to finance the rehabilitation of the Pacific Tower Health and Innovation Center.
As part of its economic development strategy, the City invests New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) through the Seattle Investment Fund LLC to support community-based, economic development projects that help create jobs and provide a range of community benefits. The City’s investment in the Pacific Tower project results in financing that includes an allocation of $10 million of NMTCs and $460,000 in operations funding.
As the master tenant, the Washington State Department of Commerce has driven the vision of the project. Seattle Central College will occupy nearly half of the space with a satellite campus housing its Allied Health programs. Other organizations onsite include FareStart, which provides culinary job training and placement for homeless and disadvantaged individuals, and Neighborcare, which provides medical and dental care to low-income and uninsured families and individuals.
Investing NMTCs gives the City the ability to support projects – either developments or business expansions – that bring economic benefits to low-income neighborhoods. Through the federal NMTC program, investors receive a tax credit in return for providing low cost financing to the project.
Long-time employee named Interim Maritime Division Managing Director
Lindsay Pulsifer, General Manager of Marine Maintenance for the Port of Seattle, has been selected as the Interim Maritime Division Managing Director. Pulsifer will be responsible for directing the strategic and daily operations of Maritime Environmental Services, Harbor Services, Marine Maintenance, Industrial Properties, and Cruise Operations until a Maritime Division Managing Director is identified.
Having been a Port employee for more than 30 years, Pulsifer brings a deep and unique understanding of Port operations, particularly in the maritime arena. In addition to her years of experience, Pulsifer holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington.
The former Maritime Division Managing Director, Linda Styrk, accepted a new position as Executive Director for the Puget Sound Pilots, who work with ship captains to safely direct vessels into and out of harbors and waterways. A national search will be underway for a permanent replacement.
Mayor to Move Forward on Acquisition of N.E. 130th Street Beach
Mayor Ed Murray today announced that the City plans to purchase portions of two properties that make up the former N.E. 130th Street beach from the current owners and restore waterfront access for the public.
The two properties lie at the end of N.E. 130th Street and Rivera Place, near the Burke-Gilman Trail in the Cedar Park neighborhood in the Lake City area. Earlier this year, the private property owners restricted the public from accessing the waterfront.
Under the Mayor’s direction, Seattle Parks and Recreation will send a purchase and sale agreement to the current owners. The owners will then have 30 days to agree with the terms, counter-offer, or decline. In the event a negotiated purchase of the portions of the properties cannot be reached, the Mayor will transmit an ordinance to City Council authorizing the use of eminent domain to acquire the parcels for public use and benefit.
In June, the City Council sent Mayor Murray a letter urging him to condemn the properties. The letter was signed by all members of the Council.
Find more Seattle and Portand area events on the Community Calendar.