Seattle Public Schools

Rainier Beach Groundbreaking

Summary: Rainier Beach students, families, staff and community came together for a groundbreaking celebration on Sept. 23.

Groundbreaking Kicks off Rainier Beach High School Replacement Project

As the school community looked on, district and community leaders officially launched the capital levy-funded replacement of Rainier Beach High School.  

After eight years of advocating for a new school, construction began with a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 23 with a crowd of close to 1,000 students, staff, alumni, and community members buzzing with anticipation.

Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, Rainier Beach came together for an assembly to celebrate the start of this major new phase in the school’s history. Several students – both new and old – shared how special the Rainier Beach community is. 

The project has had a long road, but the deep dedication of former Seattle School Board President Betty Patu and the commitment and involvement of the Rainier Beach students, alumni, and neighborhood community kept the project moving forward.  

“It’s been a long journey, and I still can’t believe it’s happening,” said Ahlaam Ibrahim, a 2016 graduate who was a strong advocate for the project. “Even last year, when they said it’s happening, I said it’s not happening until they break the building. And now they have, and I got to witness it. That’s nice.”  

Replacement of Rainier Beach High School is funded by the Building Excellence V Capital Levy (BEX V), which was approved by Seattle voters in 2019, and the Buildings, Technology, and Academics/Athletics V Capital Levy, approved by voters in 2022.  

You can learn more and follow the progress on the project page.

Groundbreaking Photo Slideshow

gold shovels with blue bows leaning against a chain link fence
Shovels ready for groundbreaking ceremony
an orange and blue banner that says build the beach for us by us
Build the Beach banner
a line of orange chairs hold construction hats and yellow vests
a large group of people gathered on a field
School and community await the ceremony
a man at a podium
Principal Ivory Brooks kicks off the ceremony
a man at a podium
School Board President Brandon Hersey
four men in suits lifting shovelsful of dirt
Board President Brandon Hersey, Mayor Bruce Harrell, Superintendent Brent Jones, and Principal Ivory Brooks
a line of people with shovels
two people holding one shovel with dirt in the scoop portion
Former RBHS staffer and alum Rita Green with Past School Board President Betty Patu
a line of people with shovels
two men
King County Councilman Girmay Zahilay and Board Director Brandon Hersey
a man in a hard hat and yellow vest holds a shovel
Superintendent Brent Jones ready to break ground
three people
Naj Ali (class of 2018), Gian Rosario (class of 2018), and Ahlaam Ibrahim (class of 2016) consistent and persistent advocates for the project

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