Patrick Robinson
The new school to be built on the site of Genesee Hill elementary is getting a lot of input from neighbors.

One goal for the new school on the Genesee Hill site? Neighbors offer their opinion

The Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council has been conducting neighborhood meetings on the school that will eventually be built on the Genesee Hill site. Kerrie Schurr, the Communications Chair for the council and representative to the School Design Advisory Team shared responses to the question regarding the "single goal" for the new school in the council's newsletter:

"Remember when we asked, "If you could have only one goal for the new school, what would it be..."? Below is a compilation of the thoughtful responses we received, which were used as the basis for our continued input to the district and design advisory team. We sincerely thank all of you who were able to take the time to respond.


Kerrie Schurr, Communications Chair
and Rep. to School Design Advisory Team

From Lilith Lysistrata:
I'd like to put my vote in for this as a single goal:

The new school at Genesee Hill should be an asset to the entire community: students, neighbors, and the city.

Underlying this single goal is that it should be an environment that inspires students to learn, a building that fits into the neighborhood (physically, as well as with the values of the community), and provides a space that will strengthen our community for years to come.

From Holly McCracken:
I would say a primary goal for the school, from the perspective of adjacent neighbors, would be:
- Maintain as much of the natural habitat as possible. We have seen bald eagles nest in the trees surrounding the school buildings, and would really love to see them incorporated into the design. Similar to college campuses – like the University of California at Santa Cruz.

From Kevin Gemeroy:
Given the lack of open park space in the neighborhood (Schmitz Park itself being the exception but still lacking "open space"), I think the priority should be grounds that can effectively double as a public park.

Play fields, play equipment for kids, and some sort of a community gathering area would be great. It would be nice to see Seattle schools build a 2 or 3 story building so as to leave at least 50% + of the lot as "open space".

A dedicated drop off area for parents and buses which was not on Genesee would also be nice. 51st would be preferable. It would be safer for the kids and would prevent backups on the arterial.

From Terri Goodwin:
I think community/pedestrian access to grounds and buildings is a priority. Perhaps stating it as such would imply good flow and park-like grounds.

Personally, I am also concerned about parking and traffic with a school that size (up to 600?).

From Bill Higbee:
As for my number one-goal for the new school, I will say:
Fosters a positive learning environment

If that is implied in their efforts and they want an answer from an aesthetics perspective, then I'll say:
Park Like Grounds

From Daniel Vinci:
Environmentally friendly / highest LEED standard - to be used / incorporated in a manner that it is inclusive as an educational tool.

From Tony Giaquinta:
A decent multi-faceted sports field. There are not enough in our neighborhood, somewhere for these kids to be active and for the school to develop a top level physical education program. It should include a track as well as provision for soccer and baseball.

You can reach the council at or via postal mail

Genesee Schmitz Neighborhood Council
4742 42nd Ave SW #332
Seattle, Washington 98116

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