Seattle Public Schools


Van Asselt Interim Site

Addition and Modernization of Historic Van Asselt School

A new classroom and gymnasium addition were constructed and connected to the landmarked schoolhouse. The four-classroom landmarked building was renovated and modernized. The existing 1950s-era school building had some improvements to better serve as SPS’s southeast interim site.

construction phase graphic showing that the school is in the Open phase
Learn what happens in each project phase


  • Predesign phase complete
  • Schematic design phase complete
  • Design development phase complete
  • Construction documents/permitting phase complete
  • Bid and award phase complete
  • Addition and landmarked building open
  • Field lighting project — Summer 2024

Field Lighting Project

Permitting is underway to add field lighting to the interim site to better serve the needs of Mercer International Middle School, community use, and future schools housed at Van Asselt School. Installation is planned for Summer 2024.

The project includes:

  • Four 70 foot tall galvanized steel light poles.
  • Six floodlights on each pole include heavy shielding to minimize offsite glare and light spilling to neighboring areas.
  • Two FAA warning lights on each pole will alert air traffic as to the location.
  • Light levels will be IES Class 4, which is the minimum required for safe play on the field.

A similar system was recently installed at Roosevelt High School’s playfield.

Planned location for the light poles.

Now Open

The Van Asselt Interim site now houses Mercer International Middle School. The new addition and renovated landmarked building were completed in fall 2023.

Progress Photos Archive

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
aerial view of a large field with a building on one side and construction underway next to it
Aerial view of the project site with the existing school at the lower side and the landmarked building at an angle above it – Aug. 2022
a construction site next to an old two story building
Layout of the new addition – Aug. 2022
a framed off area in the ground with white material next to an old building
Vapor barrier for the classroom building – Aug. 2022
a 3-story historic school house sits amidst construction activities
Concrete pad and beginnings of structural steel for east side of classroom addition – Sept. 2022
a concrete foundation has glulam beams and structural steel installed
Glulam columns going up for west side of classroom addition – Sept. 2022
a structural steel frame rises above concreate with a building in the background
Structural steel installation for the new gymnasium – Sept. 2022
a glulam beamlies on a concrete floor with structural steel rising in background
Glulam beams wait for installation – Sept. 2022
a glulam column is being lifted into place by a crane
Glulam column installation for classroom addition – Sept. 2022
a building framework made of steel and wood
Structural steel and cross-laminated timber panel installation – Sept. 2022
a cross-laminated timber panel rests on glulam wood framing
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) panel installation on top of glulam columns and beams – Sept. 2022
a structure is under construction with a historic building in the background
Classroom addition taking shape with landmarked building in background – Oct. 2022
a structural steel frame for a building with an existing building tarped off next to it
Installing structural steel for gymnasium – Oct. 2022
wooden beams and decking of a partially built structure
Glulam columns and beams, plus cross-laminated timber panels – Oct. 2022
a building under construction with wood columns and decking
Glulam columns and beams with cross-laminated timber panels in classroom building – Oct. 2022
exterior of a structure being built
Installing exterior framing and sheathing on classroom building – Oct. 2022
interior of a building under construction with metal framing
Wall framing and interior rough-in underway for toilet rooms – Oct. 2022
a narrow room with wallboard and wallboard tape and mud on walls
Installing sheet rock in the electrical room of the classroom addition – Oct. 2022
a concrete stair with two levels and four stairs in the middle of an unfinished room
Elevated stair landing in classroom addition – Oct. 2022
inside of a building with the wood framing showing and pink insulation in parts of it
Installing attic ductwork and insulation in 1909 building – Oct. 2022
aerial photo of a long building a playfield, an old building and a construction project
Aerial photo showing entire school site with construction on the left side – Nov. 2022
a two story building under construction with no exterior walls, wood beams, and interior metal studs
Classroom wing in progress, looking west – Nov. 2022
a larg metal roof with a playfield in the distrance
Metal decking complete on gym addition – Nov. 2022
a 2 story building under construction with no walls
Columns and beams in place with exterior framing and sheathing started – Nov. 2022
interior of a building under construction with metal studs and electrical conduit
Electrical rough in for a typical classroom teaching wall – Nov. 2022
aerial view of a construction project that wraps around an existing building with a playfield to the right
Aerial view – Dec. 2022
a large room with wood beams and a wood celing has unfinished walls and floor with a metal duct near the ceiling
Installing drywall and ductwork in classroom addition – Dec. 2022
a meal roof has yellow boxes and a railing
Framing skylights for new gym – Dec. 2022
pink insulation shows between metal studs with some wallboard above it
Installing insulation and drywall in addition – Dec. 2022
drywall being installed in a room with wood beams and a wood ceiling
Drywall work in the classroom addition – Dec. 2022
a part of a building with orange material wrapped around it
Weather-resistant barrier installation – Dec. 2022
an exterior wall with one window showing and the other windows boarded up
Window mock up in the 1909 building – Dec. 2022
aerial of large building under construction, another large building at the lower right, and a green turf athletic field
Aerial view of the project – Jan. 2023
a 2-story building under construction with plastic draped over it - the walls are orange, there are empty spaces for windows, and there is dirt and construction equipment in front
Looking south at the new classroom addition – Jan. 2023
a 2 story solid wall with yellow sheathing adjoins a perpendicular building under construction that is covered in plastic. dirt and construction equipment are in the foreground
Exterior sheathing in process at the gym addition – Jan. 2023
interior of a building under construction with high wood covered ceilings, wood post and beams, and metal wall studs with wallboard on the upper part of the wall
Wall and door framing on floor 2 of the classroom addition – Jan. 2023
looking up toward a wood ceiling with a metal duct running across it. openings in the wall for windows are empty, wallboard is painted
Painting, mass timber finishes, and ductwork in a classroom – Jan. 2023
a large room is under construction with a window filled with chipboard, scaffolding, and plastic; buckets, pink insulation bats, and other construction materials are in the middle of the room
Installing insulation in a 1909 building classroom – Jan. 2023
aerial of a long building with construction underway
Aerial view of the project in Feb. 2023
an orange two story building
Beginning siding system installation – Feb. 2023
a long hallway with steel bracing and a wood ceiling
Painted wallboard, and finishes on mass timber and steel – Feb. 2023
a stairway wraps up two levels to the next floor
West stair in place – Feb. 2023
small closets have tile inside
Ceramic tile installation in the single occupant toilet rooms – Feb. 2023
aerial view of a new building wrapped around a historic building
Project view – March 2023
a two story exterior wall has windows and dark metal panels
Siding system and window installation on the classroom building – March 2023
a worker on a scissor lift is taping wallboard in a two story room
Wallboard installation in the gym – March 2023
a ceiling with wood between tiles and large wood beams
Acoustic ceiling panels in the classroom addition – March 2023
a shiny concrete floor in a hallway that is taped off with construction tape
Installing gypcrete flooring in the classroom addition hallway – March 2023
cabinet and counter top being installed by a worker in a large room
Cabinets and counter installation in the classroom addition – March 2023
aerial of a buidling under construction with a playfield behind it
Aerial view – April 2023
a 2 story building has siding and windows in one part and not on the other part
View of new building, looking south – April 2023
an unfinished courtyard area surrounded on three sides by a building under construction
Courtyard and new entry area with new building and landmarked building connected – April 2023
a basketball hoop with clear backboard hangs from ceiling in a large room
Basketball hoop installed in gym addition – April 2023
a scoreboard is on a wall with a scissor lift in front of it
Scoreboard in place in new gym – April 2023
a building with metal siding and windows on part and orange underlayment and plastic in the window openings on another part
Looking south – May 2023
the corner of a two-story building has metal siding vertically in a dark color at the bottom and horizontally in a lighter color above
Corner of the classroom building, looking southeast – May 2023
a courtyard area has soil, gravel, and concrete walls. workers are moving materials. a compactor for gravel is in the front
Grading for the courtyard and new entry for classroom addition -May 2023
a large room with high ceilings has a worker installing wood planks for a floor
Hardwood flooring installation in the new gym – May 2023
a trough sink with three faucets hangs on a tile wall with a few colored accent tiles
Plumbing fixtures in the new classroom building – May 2023
a room with windows on one wall and wood beams with a ceiling fan and partially installed light bars
Lighting and ceiling fan installation in classroom building – May 2023
A three story building with a peaked roof over the entry has windows on all levels
Restored historic windows installed in 1909 building
a classroom has white boards on the left wall, windows on the far wall, and a blackboard on the right wall. the floor is covered with construction protection and a pile of material is in the middle of the floor
Updating the classrooms in the landmarked 1909 building – May 2023
aerial view of two buildings one at a 45 degree angle to the other. construction work is going on at the building exterior
Aerial view – June 2023
a 2 floor building has two parts one is more forward and has brown and cream siding, windows; the other is back and has orange underlayment and plastic over the window holes
Lookng south toward the new classroom wing – June 2023
a semi-circular low wall has gravel piled in the center; construction equipment and a building are behind it
Installing retaining wall and grading the central courtyard – June 2023
workers are installing bleachers in a large room with a high ceiling
Bleacher installation – June 2023
an alcove has tile walls, a drinking fountain, and a water bottle filling station
Plumbing fixtures include water bottle filling stations – June 2023
looking up toward the ceiling of a room that has glue lam beams and cross pieces of lighter colored wood - lighting fixtures are partially installed
Lighting and ceiling fan fixture installation in a classroom – June 2023
an empty room has blackboards on one wall, windows on another wall with radiators below them, and a wood floor
1909 building wood flooring restoration and acoustic ceiling tile installation – June 2023
a room with windows on two walls has duct work in the ceiling. some equipment and construction tools are on the concrete floor
1909 building – finishes and mechanical systems in student locker area – June 2023
a three story historic building sits to the right with a new 2 story building directly in center with paved area in front of both
Landmarked building with the new addition – August 2023
a three story historic building is directly ahead with a circle drive in front - a new 2 story building is to the left and a low brick building is to the right
Addition, landmarked building, and 1950s building – August 2023
plants in pots sit on a soil area surrounded by concrete. benches covered in plastic are in front
Planting in progress – August 2023
a gymnasium with bleachers on one wall
Gymnasium addition complete – August 2023
a window in a wall shows a small room with three chairs, a table, and a bookshelf
Small group learning space in classroom addition – August 2023
a classroom has windows on one side, wood beams in the ceiling, and a counter across from the windows - chairs and tables are stacked in the center
Typical 2nd floor classroom in the addition – August 2023
a stairway landing with stairs up to second floor and down to first floor
Stairway in the classroom addition with cross-laminated timber beams showing – August 2023
a classroom with a wood floor and wood framed windows
Typical classroom in landmarked 1909 building – August 2023
a landing with an open door to one side. stairs lead up to the landing and from the landing up to another floor
1909 building stairs and landing – August 2023
aerial view of a school
New addition and new gym attached to 1909 building with 1950 building to right – Sept. 2023
a classic schoolhouse with three floors and a covered entry
New main entry to left of historic building, looking southwest – Sept. 2023
a circular driveway with two buildings in the background
New main entry, driveway, and landscaping – Sept. 2023
a classroom with tables
Typical classroom in new addition – Sept. 2023
a gym with basketball hoops
Gym addition complete – Sept. 2023
a room with tables and chairs and a white board
Typical classroom in 1909 building – Sept. 2023

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

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Original Van Asselt School Interim Site

7201 Beacon Ave. S

Seattle, WA98108