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About North Beach Elementary
How North Beach began....
North Beach Elementary school began in a burst of community activism on a May morning in 1950. The North Beach residents on 95th had long enjoyed a view of the Olympic Golf Course. They woke one morning to the announcement in Seattle newspapers that the Army was leasing part of the couse to use as gun emplacments. By that evening a group of 25 individuals held a meeting to try to find a way to preserve the park-like grounds. Soon this core group swelled into a meeting of 350 people in the fire station on 15th Ave NW where neighbors elected a committee to petition the Amry to find another location. Thie encouraged the Seattle School Board which was negotiating for the same golf course land leased by the Army.
The struggle for the land continued through several meetings with the Army, school board and the community. Ultimately however, the community petitioned the Seattle City Council to purchase the land for a park. Accordingly, 10.3 acres were purchased for a playground.
Records from the Seattle School District show that in June 1954 they had a identified a "School Station" with a capacity for 16 rooms to cost $600,000. John Graham Jr was hired as architect (he later gained recognition as the architect of the Space Needle and the first modern-day shopping center, Northgate Mall. The new school was to be called Northwest Elemenetary School and would be constructed the next school year.
Construction began in fall 1957 and North Beach Elementary entered the Seattle Public School system in September 1958 with an enrollment of 446 pupils and 13 teachers. Ronald Pickett was our first principal.
The North Beach PTA got off to a strong start, winning the Blue and Gold 100% Membership award in it's first year. Today this notable record continues. We have enjoyed 100% Membership over the past several years and in 2006 we were recognised as as a National PTA "Parent Involvement School of Excellence" - an honor only 10 PTAs in the State hold. Earlier in 2008, the North Beach PTA received the Gold Level Honor Unit Award, a distinction held by only 1 other PTA in the state.
There have been few building modifications since the school opened. In the 1970's the library was enlarged by removing a wall between two classrooms - this arrangement contuniues today and the "People's Portable" was inaugurated to house materials and information on various ethnic groups. While the use of the portable has changed over the years, the original structure remains at the South end of the playground where it currently houses a classroom. In 2005 the PTA completed a $180,000 playground renovation project that procided a new playground structure, landscaping, and several lasting beautifully executed tile mosaics of student designed art.