Seattle Public Schools


Northgate (now Baldwin)

Northgate Elementary School Replacement Project

School renamed James Baldwin Elementary School

The existing school building has been replaced with a new school building with a new name on the same site.

James Baldwin Elementary School opened for students on September 6, 2023.


Seattle Public Utilities will be working on a Natural Drainage System (NDS) along NW 120th Street and NW 117th Street around James Baldwin Elementary.

If you have questions regarding this work, please contact Seattle Public Utilities. More information is available on the city’s website.

Opening Celebration

A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of the new school on Aug. 31, 2023. Read the story.

Photos from the event are below.

a person with a feather headdress, beaded cuffs, and a necklace with teeth holds a large pink shell in front of their face
Shell sounding during blessing ceremony
a native style bird logo
New James Baldwin Elementary School logo
a person with a feather headdress holds a pot up
Incense used during the blessing ceremony
a man stands at a podium with a light colored brick building in the background
Superintendent Jones
a group of people are looking down at a red ribbon. one person has giant scissors. the others have normal size scissors. all have the ribbon between the scissor blads
Line up at the ribbon
a white brick building has a one story section to the left and a two story section to the right. the building has orange trim. a curved grass area is in the foreground
Closer view of the new entry
A group of people face one direction with scissors in their hands and pieces of red ribbon
The ribbon is cut
a woman stands at a podium with a microphone attached. a light colored brick wall and a window with an orange frame are behind her
Principal Nicole Silver
a woman stands at a podium with microphones attached. a light colored brick wall and a window with an orange frame are behind her
Dr. Dedy Fauntleroy, former principal of Northgate Elementary School
a white brick building has a one story section to the left and a two story section to the right. the building has orange trim. a circular plaza is in front surrounded by grass
New James Baldwin Elementary School
people in native dress dance in front of a 1 story building
Anáhuac Blessing Dance performed by Tlalokan

Recent Progress

Progress updates are posted for the previous month

Major activity in January 2024

  • Continued play yard traffic garden striping.
  • Completed installation of play structures in lower play yard, with PreK play equipment scheduled for installation the week of mid-winter break.

Major activity planned for February 2024

  • Complete PreK play structure installation.
  • Complete commissioning.
  • Complete play yard traffic garden stripping.

Project Photos

an I-beam painted white with signatures
Northgate Elementary School students signed one of the beams for the new school – Dec. 2021
a wall on a stairwell has a signed steel beam embedded in it
Beam signed by students early in construction now located in stairway – Feb. 2023
a sliding glass interior door
Interior sliding doors installed in classroom – Jan. 2023
tubular ceiling lights hang from a high ceiling with a stairway below them
Entry lights installed – Feb. 2023
a stairway with a landing in the middle that makes a right angle turn
West stair way view – Feb. 2023
a classrom wall section has a nook below cabinets that includes two facing benches with a ledge between them. next to them is open shelving below a window. Both areas are highlighted by bright green accents
Cozy nook and shelving in art classroom – March 2023
tube shaped light fixtures hang from a high ceiling in a two story space with a stairway
Lighting installed – April 2023
looking down into a large space with a stairway for walking, a stairway for sitting, and a slide
Learning stairs and slide in the commons – April 2023
A curved three tier bench in a the corner of a room
Group learning area in library – April 2023
a curved wall with windows has bookshelves below the windows
Casework in the library – April 2023
part of a two story building with a canopy that has wood edge and windows. a sign on the building says James Baldwin Elementary
Entrance to new building with new school name – May 2023
an interior stair leads up from a concrete floor past a group of windows. there is a slide next to the stairs
Stair in the commons toward the entry to the space – May 2023
interior space with a reception desk. wall behind says James Baldwin Elementary
Welcoming reception area – June 2023
view from halfway up stairs on a landing. you can see part of the second floor with a curved glass wall and part of the lower floor.
Central gathering area near the main entrance – June 2023
aerial photo of a large building with a road at the top and trees along the road
Aerial view -August 2023
indoor space with a slated ceiling, a table, stools, and a counter and sink. it is separated from the hall by a partial wall
Learning commons with furniture installed
part of a hallway with doors set back from the path by tile. a sink hangs on the wall at one end
Student restrooms and handwashing – June 2023
a room with two refrigerators, cabinetry, a stove, two microwaves, and some tables and chairs
Completed staff lounge – June 2023
part of a hallway with wood benches on one side by the windows and a curved nook on the other side
Central hallway – June 2023
looking toward a stairway leading up in front of windows with a wooden platform underneath
Stairway to second floor – June 2023
a classroom has groups of tables with chairs, bookcases, whiteboards, lighting and ceiling fans
Classroom with furniture installed – June 2023
a small room with a video screen, windows on one wall, a half circle table and five stools
Small group space with furniture installed – June 2023
outdoor looking toward a long low building with a stairway, concrete walk, and construction materials in front of it
Demolition of old Northgate Elementary School building to begin in July – June 2023
looking up a walkway toward a one and two story building with a covered entry and window frames that are orange and green
Front entry of new James Baldwin Elementary School – August 2023
a parking lot next to a one story building with an orange window frame
New staff parking lot – August 2023
an excavator is demolishing a building
Demolition of the old Northgate Elementary building – July 2023
aerial view of a large building with a white roof with a construction area behind it. the freeway can be seen in the background
Aerial view of new building with old building demolition complete – August 2023
aerial view of a construction area next to a new building
Old school has been demolished and work has begun on the outdoor play areas – August 2023
high angle view of a large building and trees
Completed school building with play area and play field in progress – Sept. 2023
aerial view of a large building and paved areas with some construction work taking place in the lower portion
Aerial view looking north – Oct. 2023
aerial view of a large building with a dirt field to the left and parking lots in front
View of the school with the future field to the left – Nov. 2023
people installing a play structure with equipment
Installing the play structures – Nov. 2023
a paved area with striping painted on it
Traffic garden striping – Dec. 2023
a green grass playfield with a concrete walkway
Field turf installed – Dec. 2023

About the Project

The new two-story elementary school building will provide the spaces and resources that students need for academic success. The approximately 95,000 square foot school will meet the district’s elementary educational specifications and provide space for up to 650 students. A collaborative process resulted in a building designed to fit into the neighborhood. It will provide outdoor learning, play, and recreation areas.

The new school has been designed to provide an equitable, safe, and inspiring learning environment for the entire school community. Learning clusters will have classrooms surrounding learning commons.

Sustainable Design and Construction

In keeping with SPS’s clean energy goals, operation of the new school will not require any fossil fuels. In addition, the roof is designed to accommodate solar panels, which could offset 80% of the building’s energy use in the future.

Features to reduce energy use:

  • Geothermal heating
  • Highly efficient ventilation that recovers heat before air leaves the school
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting
  • Highly insulated walls and roofs
  • High performance fiberglass windows

Other sustainable design strategies:

  • Storm water management with rain gardens
  • Native and drought-resistant plantings
  • Shielded site lighting to reduce light pollution
  • Demolition and construction debris sorted and recycled

Projected Energy Use Index (EUI): 17.3

Design Firm: NAC Architecture

General Contractor/Construction Management: Lydig Construction

Project Budget: $90.3M

Funding Source: Funded by the Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy, approved by Seattle voters in 2019.

School Design Advisory Team: Learn about the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) process  and read meeting minutes.

Contact Us

Let’s Talk for Project Questions

Project Manager: Amanda Fulford,, 206-252-0697

James Baldwin Elementary School

11725 1st Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125

School Profile

School Website