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    Renovated and expanded Daniel Bagley Elementary School to be complete by July 31
    Posted on 07/29/2020
    Landmarked main entrance to Bagley Elementary School

    Renovated and expanded Daniel Bagley Elementary School to be complete by July 31

    Starting the 2020-21 school year with remote learning isn’t what anyone expected when construction began at Daniel Bagley Elementary School in 2019. The construction project is wrapping up and the school building will be ready to welcome students when in-person instruction resumes. 

    “It’s good to have something to celebrate while we’re all dealing with the pandemic,” said Bagley’s principal, Carla Holmes. “Getting the construction done and returning the Bagley Bees to our hive is really positive.”

    The historic two-story brick building has been modernized and upgraded. Two additions provide eight new classrooms with learning commons spaces and a new full-size gymnasium. The previously existing portable classrooms were removed at the beginning of the project.

    The entire school has been following construction progress,” said Holmes. “Most of the students live in the neighborhood, so they’ve seen it underway. Plus, prior to the onset of the pandemic, we had monthly assemblies to review recent construction activities.”

    Preserving history

    Design of the modernization included careful preservation and restoration of many of the school’s historic details. 

    When it opened in 1930, Daniel Bagley Elementary resembled other schools built in the same time period with some key differences. Art Deco cats, dogs, squirrels, and owls cast in stone decorate the exterior. Other examples of Art Deco design appear in the cast stone projections over the main entrance. 

    a close up photo of stonework above a doorway

    The Seattle Landmarks Review Board designated the building exterior, and some internal features as historic landmarks, including the student dining hall with its multicolored carved and painted beams, carved wood stage proscenium, and tall windows.

    Safety and security 

    Modernization of the historic building provided opportunities to improve safety and security, ensure the school is accessible to all, and to update building systems and technology.

    "The old brick multi-purpose room and gymnasium were constructed of unreinforced masonry, which can be unstable in an earthquake,” said Richard Best, the district’s director of Capital Projects and Planning. “Considerable effort was made during design and construction to bring those spaces up to current building codes, including adding bracing and anchoring the existing walls to the foundations.”

    With the new, much larger gym addition, the old gym has been converted into the school’s new library.

    photo of a large room with a wood floor and empty bookshelves

    All other unreinforced walls, including interior walls between classrooms, have been replaced or reinforced for safety. 

    New interior vestibule doors at the historic entrance allow administration office staff to control entry into the school and improve energy efficiency. Throughout the school, modern doors have replaced the old ones, which were unlocked using a type of skeleton key.

    Teaching and learning spaces

    Renovated classrooms include new flooring, paint, sinks, cabinetry, and technology. Cubbies provide a place for student belongings. Hall lockers were removed, providing space for breakout alcoves and student displays. Hallways in the classroom addition also include spaces for small group work.

    a large empty room with windows on one side and cabinetry on one wall

    The Bagley team looks forward to a new staff room for gathering and meeting, plus conference rooms, and teacher work rooms. 

    Other changes

    A new covered play space adjoins the new gymnasium addition. The former covered play courts have been enclosed and redeveloped into art and music classrooms with windows that look toward the updated playground.

    photo of a building with a roof that extends over a paved area

    The new heating and ventilation system won’t be something most people see, but it will make a big difference to staff and student comfort. High-efficiency boilers pipe warm water to fin tubed radiators providing heat throughout the building. Outside air is brought in through two dedicated air handling units, filtered, and then distributed throughout the building. Air leaving the classrooms is exhausted outside through a heat exchanger, which conserves energy. Air in the classrooms is exchanged four times per hour. While there is no mechanical cooling, two classroom fans help provide cooling air movement in the warmer months. Plumbing, electrical and low voltage systems have also been updated throughout the building. All lighting has been upgraded to high-efficiency LED lighting.

    Trees provide ties to the past

    Some things have not changed. Four cedar trees, planted in 1930 when the school opened, were preserved and protected during construction. After 90 years, they provide a significant presence. The additions were designed to celebrate these trees. An Incense Cedar stands tall over the school garden near the new gymnasium. The two-story classroom addition highlights a second, dramatically branched Incense Cedar.

    photo of a large tree with a brick building behind it and a modern building beside it

    The faceted wall facing the tree includes large windows, making the second-floor learning commons feel as if it is perched in the tree canopy. Two Western Red Cedars stand directly east of the classroom addition with large hallways windows to enhance the feeling of being in a forest.

    a hallway with windows on one side looking out into tree branches

    Blending the old and the new

    To provide a clear distinction between the old and the new, both additions are set back from the original building so that the historic brick and stone building takes center stage. The color palette for the contemporary exteriors draws from the warm, variegated colors of the historic brick.

    Inside, the additions use color and design to create a cohesive feeling. Care was taken in the design to reflect Bagley Elementary’s educational priorities by emphasizing daylighting, lots of small group breakout spaces, and flexibility for educational programs.>

    Welcome to the new Daniel Bagley Elementary

    “We’ve always been a welcoming school,” said Principal Holmes. “Having a new school gives us new opportunities to welcome the community and strengthen our ties.” 

    Watch for a virtual tour of the new school and a virtual ribbon cutting, as well as virtual start-of-school activities for students and families. More photos and information are available on the Bagley construction project page.

    The Daniel Bagley Elementary School modernization and additions were funded by the Building Excellence IV Capital Levy (BEX IV) and the Buildings, Technology, and Academics IV Capital Levy (BTA IV). BEX IV was approved by voters in 2013. BTA IV was approved by voters in 2016.