The renovation included the addition of six more classrooms, all of which will have approximately 20 students.
The renovation included the addition of six more classrooms, all of which will have approximately 20 students.

Magnolia Elementary has seen many years of education within its walls since its construction in 1927, and Seattle Public Schools hopes a major remodel will enable future generations to also receive quality instruction moving forward.

The remodel, which began in late 2017, narrowly missed its nearly $27 million budget, coming in at around $29 million, said SPS project manager Jeanette Imanishi.

“We were pretty much on budget, which for a historic renovation was pretty amazing,” she said.

The project proved a good experience for Imanishi, she said, allowing her to work with a stellar team.

Part of the overall project included 40,000 square feet of renovations.

“The interior, all electrical, mechanical, plumbing systems were modernized," Imanishi said. "We put in new energy-efficient boilers, new air-handling units, installed technology to meet today’s current educational needs — like digital projectors, wireless access, energy-efficient light fixtures.”

The project also added 25,000 square feet of facilities, including a gymnasium, six classrooms and a library.

“Our classrooms are designed with the class sizes of 20 students to one teacher in kindergarten and first grade, 21:1 in second grade, 24:1 in third grade and 28:1 in fourth and fifth grade," said Magnolia Elementary principal Katie Cryan Leary. "Because we are a neighborhood school our enrollment might not fit into those numbers exactly that way, its kind of what we aim for. Right now, we are expecting our classes to be about the right size.”

Cryan Leary said students will benefit in a number of ways, such as through immersion in the community history.

“We are excited as we open to really learn about the history of our building and of Magnolia… and the history of this building moving forward,” Cryan Leary said.

Magnolia Elementary was first built in 1927. A north addition was built in 1931, followed by a south addition in 1941.

The 2019 addition includes a gym, which educators are highlighting as a win for the school and community.

“The gym will benefit the kids in just being able to really fully access the P.E. program." Cryan Leary writes. "It will provide a recess space… It will also benefit the community. It's an amazing community space and we are excited to share that.”

The renovation that will reopen Magnolia Elementary for 250 student in September was funded by the Buildings, Technology and Academics (BTA) IV levy, and eventually enrollment will increased to 500.

Houses on the west side of 30th Avenue West are assigned to Catharine Blaine K-8, and those on the east will go to Magnolia Elementary. The Seattle School Board in January approved allowing students entering fifth grade to stay at Lawton Elementary, as well as Catharine Blaine students in grades 4-7, and their siblings.

Imanishi said the building and its additions have been seismically stabilized to meet code requirements. The team reinforced corridor walls, tied some stairwells into the building to keep them from wobbling in an earthquake event, and even pinned bricks in place over entrances and exits.

“The building has been seismically reinforced to meet current codes," Imanishi said. "It's as safe as we can make it. Everyone is subject to current building codes… We are meeting current codes with seismic upgrades here.”

Families wanting more information ahead of the Sept. 4 start of the 2019-20 school year can visit

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held 10:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at Magnolia Elementary, 2418 28th Ave. W.