Building Asset Management Plan

The Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) building is a valuable asset with deep roots in our community and a long history of providing access to educational and training opportunities for communities of color in Seattle’s Central District.

Background

Over the past decade, the Central District and the SVI have undergone significant changes. As the Central District has gentrified, more and more of SVI’s students now live outside the immediate neighborhood. Some SVI programs have moved to the Health Education Center at the Pacific Tower to take advantage of a new instructional partnership with NeighborCare, while the Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Trades (PACT) program expanded and moved to the nearby Wood Technology Center. These moves and the improving job market have reduced our need for instructional space in the SVI Building. Phlebotomy, Medical Assisting, Adult Basic Education and high school completion programs are currently offered at the SVI building.

Asset Management Planning Process

We have been working with the State of Washington and the consulting firm Maul Foster Alongi, to study and re-imagine how the property can best serve the local community. The Seattle Vocational Institute Asset Management Plan (pdf) outlines the approach and process we are following. Principles for decision-making and future use of the building as identified by the study are as follows:

  • Any future use needs to provide community benefit and accept community input
  • Future use should be vibrant, with a mix of activities to serve different groups of people throughout the day
  • Future use should be culturally relevant to recognize and enliven the African American heritage of SVI, the Central District Area and is welcoming to multiple ethnic groups
  • Economically energized, providing training and resources to support entrepreneurship, local businesses, and career development
  • Educational, providing opportunities for short-term job training and ladders to further learning and training
  • Accessible, providing community meeting and gathering spaces

Seattle Colleges’ Role

Seattle Colleges, for its part, is focused on helping students follow pathways from short-term certificates to life-long careers and other education opportunities. This requires facilities that are equipped to train and prepare students to meet the demands of today’s marketplace. Our fiscal budget realities make it impossible for Seattle Colleges to raise the SVI building to the standards necessary to meet these needs. Our vocational training programs will continue regardless of any decision made by the state about the building. Seattle Colleges are prepared to return the building to the community. However, we will need to identify another public entity to accept the transfer.

Participate and Provide Feedback

The state is seeking input and ideas on how best to move forward. You can provide input to mstringer@maulfoster.com, the lead staff working on the study.

Several focus groups, community forums and meetings have been held to listen and explore ideas. Following are summaries of the information shared and feedback gathered in these settings.

Documents