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Van Asselt Interim Site

Addition and Modernization of Historic Van Asselt School

construction project progress graphic showing under construction
Learn what happens in each project phase

A new classroom and gymnasium addition will be constructed and connected to the landmarked schoolhouse. The four-classroom landmarked building will be renovated. The existing 1950s-era school building will remain.


  • Predesign phase complete
  • Schematic design phase complete
  • Design development phase complete
  • Construction documents/permitting phase complete
  • Bid and award phase complete
  • Construction in progress
  • Addition opens Fall 2023

Recent Progress

Progress updates are posted for the previous month the week after the monthly BEX and BTA Capital Levies Oversight Committee meetings. These meetings typically take place on the first Friday of each month.

Construction has begun!

Major Activity in June 2022

Construction started on the addition and renovation of the landmarked building. Project photos will be posted throughout construction as soon as they are available.

Hazardous material abatement and demolition began in the 1909 building. Excavation began at the south side of the project. The west retaining wall was in progress. Tree protection and temporary erosion and sediment control (TESC) measures started in the north parking lot.

Major Activity Anticipated in July 2022

The retaining wall on the south site will be completed and storm drains will be installed. Demolition will begin in the non-historic parts of the 1909 building and in the boiler room. Excavation starts for the new gymnasium, as well as deep pluming and electrical, and footing installation. In the north parking lot, work begins on the underground utilities and parking lot expansion. The ADA-compliant ramp in the front of the 1950 building will be completely rebuilt. Work will begin in the right-of-way for crosswalks, speed bumps, and curb ramps.

an old school house
Existing 1909 Van Asselt School building – June 2022
a classroom with no ceiling panels and a scaffolding
Demolition of a classroom in the 1909 building – June 2022
a wall with a hold cut through it
Select demolition of Van Asselt School building – June 2022
workers smoothing concrete in a frame
Footing for west retaining wall looking east – June 2022

About the Project

The project at the original Van Asselt School adds a new classroom and gymnasium addition and renovates the historic landmark schoolhouse, which is currently vacant. The project will provide 30 additional new or rehabilitated classrooms on the campus. The 1950s-era, one-story school building will remain and undergo minor modifications.

The two-story school addition will include 26 new classrooms, a new gymnasium, and the support and collaboration spaces that students need for academic success. The space will provide opportunities for schools to customize their environment and showcase their school spirit in their temporary home. The addition is carefully designed to honor the original 1909 building and connect seamlessly with the four existing classrooms.

The Van Asselt site is used as an interim location by the school district. Schools occupy the site as their temporary home during replacement or renovation of their permanent school building. Expanding the Van Asselt campus will provide more capacity and flexibility to house up to 1,000 students — either one middle school or two elementary schools — once construction is complete.

From Fall 2021 to Summer 2023, Kimball Elementary will occupy the main school building. In Fall 2023, following completion of the new addition, Mercer International Middle School will move in for two years. During that time, a new replacement school will be built on the Mercer site.

Sustainable Construction

The new addition will be built using engineered wood known as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) for the floor panels and roof panels. These materials have carbon reduction and reduced greenhouse gas emissions over traditional steel and concrete. CLT materials use sustainably harvested wood products (a renewable resource).

Based on the Seattle School Board Green Energy Resolution, the addition will use no fossil fuels and rely on electricity for heating.

Features to reduce energy use:

  • Highly efficient ventilation that recovers heat before air leaves the building
  • Highly insulated walls and roofs
  • Energy-efficient LED lighting

Other sustainable design strategies:

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

Construction Project Manager: Shiels Obletz Johnsen, Inc. (SOJ)

SOJ Construction Manager: Ethan Bernau,, 206-838-3705

Designer: Bassetti Architects

General Contractor/Construction Manager: Cornerstone General Contractors

Budget: $50.3M

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

Contact Us

Please send us your questions or comments using our online feedback form.

Original Van Asselt School Interim Site

7201 Beacon Ave. S

Seattle, WA98108