SPS and City of Seattle Partner to Plan for New Memorial Stadium and Future Schools

The City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools (SPS) are forging a partnership to plan for a new Memorial Stadium and potential new school at Seattle Center, provide land for a new downtown elementary school and include the school district in the Fort Lawton Redevelopment Agreement process.

The new agreement outlines how the district and city will plan together to review school capacity issues, plan strategically for future school locations and address the 70-year-old Memorial Stadium. Read more about the partnership including the agreement details on the City of Seattle’s website.

In January 2018, there will be a joint meeting of the School Board and the City Council to set direction for the joint planning process and involving the public.

Both the city and district have experienced tremendous growth, with Seattle adding almost 100,000 residents since 2010 and the district adding nearly 8,000 new students in the last decade.

The district has an interest in redevelopment plans for Seattle Center. SPS operates The Center School and Memorial Stadium and owns a surface parking lot that generates revenue for the district.

Any stadium redevelopment will include preservation of Memorial Wall, which is inscribed with the names of 800 Seattle students who died in World War II. Both parties agree that the school district properties at Seattle Center should be better designed into the overall campus.

The agreement includes an opportunity for SPS to be incorporated into the city’s overall planning process for Fort Lawton, with the goal of enabling SPS to obtain land.

While the city has committed to seek funding partners to assist the district in redevelopment costs, any new school facilities and a rebuilt Memorial Stadium will be incorporated into district capital levy planning and will require School Board and voter approval.

Watch the Seattle Channel recording of Mayor Burgess announcing the partnership agreement Mon., Nov. 20, 2017. If you are unable to view the video below, please visit the Seattle Channel website.


What will this agreement accomplish?

The city and the school district agree to plan and work together on rebuilding the Memorial Stadium and perhaps include a school facility nearby.  

What happens to the Memorial Wall?

The wall will be retained, improved and hold a place of honor as it has for these many years.  

This agreement includes things that weren’t in the Partnership Agreement announced over the summer, such as Fort Lawton and the Roosevelt Reservoir.

What are the plans for Fort Lawton?

The city will continue with its current Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) planning and offer a portion of the federal land to SPS for future needs.    

What else does this agreement do?

The agreement is aspirational for what we can accomplish by marshaling our resources as we both plan for future needs. Both parties retain their jurisdictional authority and controls. Both parties’ elected officials will approve pertinent issues as needed. The agreement also provides ongoing vision for school district and city cooperation in planning and working together on district needs.  

Is this a legally binding document?

No. The Public Process Partnership Agreement is an aspirational commitment to partner and work together. We believe the taxpayers of our city expect us to do that. We also know that by working together outcomes will be better.

What exactly will be built at the Center?

We envision a rebuilt stadium that better fits into the overall design and use of Seattle Center. Seattle Center is the hub of our city, and we want the new stadium to complement all the improvements going on at the Center.

The district is also putting thought into the construction of a school facility there as well, but it is very early in that process. Anything proposed will need to be approved by the district board of directors and then go before voters for approval.