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Growing Our Campus

Growing Our Campus

This week, The Northwest School announced exciting news regarding the future of the campus. The school has just purchased three properties neighboring its immediate buildings on Capitol Hill. These properties include both land and building structures at 1422 and 1418 Bellevue (the lots between the school’s 401 E. Pike facility and the Urban Farm and Garden), and the 14-space parking lot at 1417 Bellevue (directly north of the school’s dormitory).

“It’s thrilling to contemplate the programmatic and community-building opportunities this move affords the school,” says Mike. “This new property gives us the opportunity to expand our teaching and learning areas while at the same time allowing for more green space and enhancing the connection between our buildings.”

The long-range plan is to build a new building on both properties that best serves the school’s programmatic needs and aspirations. This year, the school will complete a strategic planning process and then engage architects in a needs assessment and master planning process.

Northwest School Board Chair Kathleen Wareham says the Board of Trustees is looking out for the school’s health and well-being fifty years down the road. Says Kathleen, “This property acquisition is a strategic step toward providing a physical campus that strongly advances the school’s mission, programs, and long-term vision.”

In the near future, the 1418 building, which is in disrepair, will be deconstructed and the land converted into a "pop-up" garden. In accordance with the school’s sustainability values, the materials from deconstruction will be salvaged or repurposed whenever possible.

In addition, the school's business offices, currently located one block from the school in what is called the Annex, will move temporarily into the 1422 building. Furthermore, some faculty offices located in the main school building also will move to 1422, immediately freeing up space in the House.

According to Mike, the school is not planning to increase its enrollment significantly, separate its Middle School from the Upper School, or create department-specific buildings.

“An intimate, intentional 6-12 community, an interdisciplinary curriculum, and environmental stewardship are hallmarks of the school’s approach to education,” states Mike, “and will be reflected in any campus expansion.”