EA Engineering, Science and Technology has completed the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the proposed demolition of the old East Seattle School building, located at 2825 West Mercer Way.
According to the city, an EIS identifies and analyzes probable adverse environmental impacts, reasonable alternatives and possible mitigation for a given action. Alternatives analyzed in this EIS by the city’s consultant include: demolition of the building with mitigation measures; retention of the building; and adaptive reuse of the building. The FEIS also responds to public comment received during the review process.
The city hearing examiner began accepting appeals on the adequacy of the FEIS starting Aug. 24 and that process will run through 5 p.m. Sept. 7.
Appeals may be filed with the city clerk by appointment or mailed to the city clerk at 9611 SE 36th St., Mercer Island, WA 98040. Call 206-275-7793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment to file an appeal. For full appeal information and fee, visit https://letstalk.mercergov.org/east-seattle-subdivision.
According to a Reporter story on March 21, 2020, the former school building constructed in 1914 is now the oldest standing once-public building on Mercer Island, and one of only a few built before 1920, according to the Mercer Island Historical Society. The property is now privately owned by Michael O’Brien, who purchased it in 2007 for $6 million, well above the then King County appraised value of $2.6 million.
At a Feb. 27, 2020, public meeting to discuss a draft EIS – in the works due to potentially significant impacts to the historic value of the property – about 20 people attended and voiced questions and concerns, according to the Reporter article. Along with hoping to preserve all or parts of the building, community members were concerned about the property’s upkeep, current use and safety for the neighborhood.