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Originally published February 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM | Page modified February 14, 2013 at 6:42 AM

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Denny Triangle building focus of push for downtown school

The Downtown Seattle Association is exploring the vacant third floor of the Sixth & Wall Building as a potential elementary-school site.

Seattle Times business reporter

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The Downtown Seattle Association is focusing its push for a center-city elementary school on the Denny Triangle office building where City University recently relocated.

Kate Joncas, the association’s president, revealed the effort in her annual State of Downtown address Wednesday.

The space under consideration is the third floor of the full-block Sixth & Wall Building, Joncas said in a follow-up interview. The building is the former headquarters of Group Health, and before that was the longtime home of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nonprofit City University of Seattle moved into the first two floors of the three-story building last month. The third floor — about 45,000 square feet — remains for lease, according to commercial real-estate database

The building is owned by Sabey Corp. of Tukwila, whose executives were not immediately available for comment.

City University, which runs one of the state’s biggest teacher-education programs, suggested a school at Sixth & Wall last year, Joncas said.

Downtown association representatives are working with architects on a prospective school redesign of the space and have approached city officials about code requirements, she said.

Association representatives also have spoken with school officials. The levy approved Tuesday includes $5 million to plan a downtown school.

Pegi McEvoy, Seattle Public Schools’ assistant superintendent of operations, said school officials toured the Sixth & Wall site last year, then put all downtown-school planning on hold until after the levy vote.

Those efforts will resume now, she said, but no decisions have been made about location or financing.

The Sixth & Wall space probably is too small for a full elementary, McEvoy said, but it could be used as an interim site while the district works on a permanent location.

Elementary-age children who live downtown now attend public schools in Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and the Central District. Their number increased from 237 in 2007 to 272 in 2011, according to the association.

Seattle Times education reporter Linda Shaw contributed to this report.

Eric Pryne:

or 206-464-2231

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