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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
- SVI Fact Sheet (pdf)
- SVI Common Themes (pdf)
- SVI Community Forum Presentation (pdf)
- SVI Display Boards (pdf)
- SVI Focus Group Notes (pdf)
The Path Forward
Based on the outcome of the community engagement effort, Seattle Colleges is soliciting proposals from public agencies and not-for-profit organizations to acquire and redevelop the property.
The Request for Letters of Interest (RFI) process is the first step in determining a successful future for the SVI building. It capitalizes on the creativity, knowledge, and vibrancy of local organizations to empower them to develop proposals for the long-term ownership, management, and operation of the property. As a public asset owned by the State of Washington, this process will ensure that the property is following a transparent and accountable process to reaching resolution on the complex issues facing SVI.
- The RFI will be available on June 21, 2018 with responses due by August 15, 2018.
- This process will be guided by the carefully selected Advisory Group of community and agency leaders, which will review the proposals and ultimately recommend a preferred concept in August 2018.
- The outcome of the RFI process will be documented for the State legislature in September 2018.