Share story

Seattle Public Schools administrators are recommending opening an elementary school in West Seattle, installing about 30 portables across the city and making minor schools boundary adjustments next year.

The $6.2 million plan, unveiled this morning, will be introduced to the Seattle School Board tonight. It is necessary because of serious school overcrowding in some parts of the city due to an unexpected enrollment spike.

The recommendations call for reopening the old Boren building in West Seattle as an elementary school that would include a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program. It would be an option school, meaning all students in the city could apply and have an equal chance of getting in there.

The district is proposing reducing the size of the boundary for  John Stanford International School, meaning some incoming students that currently get automatic enrollment into the popular school would not be able to in the future.

Funding would come from a reserve account that could have been used on building maintenance and construction.

The district is recommending renting portables as opposed to buying them, said Bob Boesche, interim assistant superintendent for business and finance. That would  reduce costs up front, but put pressure on the district to find a more permanent solution sometime soon.

The plan is identical to the one circulated three months ago despite dozens of community meetings. Officials said they don’t have a lot of options because there are few buildings and little money available.