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    Early Designs Now Available as Northgate Planning Moves Ahead
    Posted on 01/27/2020
    Architect's drawing of new Northgate commons

    Northgate Elementary Design Moves Ahead 

    The architects and project management team continue to work on plans for the new Northgate Elementary School. After completing the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) process in mid-December, early schematic designs can now be shared.

    "These images reflect a very early phase of the project,” said Vince Gonzales, the district’s project manager for the Northgate replacement project. “The building design will evolve over the next few weeks as the architects continue to coordinate with consultants, engineers, the school district, and community stakeholders.”

    architect's drawing of new shared learning space

    Schematic Design Phase in Progress

    The architectural team is well into the schematic design phase with the proposed site improvements and shape of the building continuing to evolve with feedback from the Northgate Elementary School staff. The next project milestone is completion of the schematic design scheduled for early February 2020.

    “After 100 percent schematic design, the project will have a cost estimate performed by a third-party to confirm we remain within budget, and a value engineering study will be conducted” said Gonzales. “If the project is within budget it will transition from the schematic design phase to the design development phase.”

    As the project continues to develop, the layout of the new school will likely remain similar to the current drawings.

    Note: These architect's drawings show schematic design work. They are not the final design.

    architect's drawing of first floor plan

     architect's drawing of second floor plan

    Next Phase: Design Development

    The schematic design level of detail will be expanded during the design development phase. Building program elements such as classrooms, offices, common spaces, etc., will develop further, guided by Seattle Public Schools’ educational specifications, technical standards, and input from teachers, staff, and facilities team members. 

    The building materials and finishes palette, such as exterior brick, exterior metal siding, interior paint and other wall coverings, flooring, and cabinetry, will start to be selected during the design development phase,” said Gonzales. 

    The structural design and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) designs will be further refined as the building develops. The design will continue to evolve so that educational spaces, support spaces, and public spaces meet the program and technical requirements set by the district. A successful design should have building systems working well with the building spaces that they support.


    Construction is currently scheduled to begin summer 2021. The new school is expected to be ready for the school year that begins September 2023. You can learn more about this project and follow the process on the Northgate project page.

    The Northgate Elementary replacement project is made possible by the support of Seattle voters, who approved the Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy in February 2019.