Monroe High School. (Monroe School District)

Monroe High School. (Monroe School District)

Monroe School District considers selling 1916 schoolhouse

The current office was built in 1916 by the same company responsible for the Space Needle, monorail.

MONROE — As Monroe school leaders weigh upgrading district buildings, the future of the city’s oldest schoolhouse hangs in the balance.

The Monroe School Board will meet Monday in closed-door executive session to discuss the potential purchase or lease of a new administrative office. If leaders decide to move, the current headquarters would be sold.

Board directors are considering signing a 20-year lease for a former medical office on 179th Avenue SE, across from the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.

The building offers 31,000 square feet, which is more than the district says it needs. Excess space would be subleased or used for other school programs.

Administrators have operated out of an old schoolhouse for the last 42 years. The building is in need of repair and maintenance is becoming more difficult, a district spokeswoman said.

The Howard S. Wright Company, which also built the Space Needle and monorail as the primary builder for the 1962 World’s Fair, constructed the schoolhouse in 1916, Tami Kinney from the Monroe Historical Society said.

The Central Grade School, as it was known, housed 12 classrooms and eight grades of students. Back in those days, boys and girls were separated in the seventh and eighth grades. The only other school building on the society’s historic register is Frank Wagner Elementary.

“We hope when the school district sells this building, it will be preserved and used for a purpose that maintains its integrity,” Kinney said. “It is just as important to look back at our history as it is to embrace new development.”

Kinney said she hopes a new owner would develop the building into apartments, an events center, farmers market location or retail complex, something similar to Interlake Public School in Wallingford.

The district would pay about $57,000 a month for the first three years of the 20-year lease on its new space.

During the first seven years of the agreement, the board could opt to buy the land for $10.5 million. From year seven to 10, the price is $11 million.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speaks with special ed Pre-K teacher Michelle Ling in her classroom at Phantom Lake Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

A view of the courtyard leading to the main entrance of the new Stanwood High building on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020 in Stanwood, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

About a dozen metal dinosaurs sit in the front yard of a home owned by Burt Mason and Mary Saltwick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Freeland, Washington. The couple are used to finding strangers in their yard and taking photos. Every year on their trip to Tucson, Burt and Mary bring home another figure  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Dinos on Whidbey? This Freeland yard is a Jurassic Park

These creatures from long ago won’t chomp or chase you, and you’re welcome to visit.

Maryville Getchell High School students Madison Dawson, left, Kaden Vongsa and Jenasis Lee, who made a presentation to their school board discussing mental health, lack of resources and personal stories of their peers mental health struggles. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Students plead for better mental health support from schools

Three Marysville Getchell seniors want more counselors and improved training for staff.

Parked tractor-trailers line the side of 40th Avenue NE on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Worker wonders why dead end Marysville road is rough and rutty

A stretch of 40th Avenue NE is mostly used for heavy trucking and isn’t in line for repairs soon.

Camano Island shooting leaves father dead; son arrested

Dominic Wagstaff, 21, was taken into custody late Sunday for investigation of the murder of Dean Wagstaff, 41.

Jean Shumate (left), seen here during a February 2019 school board meeting, will retire June 30 after 20 years at the Stanwood-Camano School District superintendent. (Skagit Valley Herald)
Stanwood-Camano superintendent to retire after 20 years

Jean Shumate has been at the helm longer than any other superintendent in Snohomish County.

Snohomish County Council delays education spending vote

The council is now slated to decide next week on the measure, which targets a pre-K learning gap.

Frances McDormand in "Nomadland." (Searchlight Pictures) 20210304
Masked in a nearly empty theater, a movie outing at last

Just four of us were in the audience for a matinee showing of “Nomadland” at Stanwood Cinemas.

Most Read