Campus Construction 2017 Fall Update

14 November, 2017   |     |   Cardinal Union, Faculty, Middle School, News

“Walking around in that space, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and a deep feeling of honor. I’m honored to be part of our growth over the last 18 years and to be moving into these incredible new spaces next year (Fall of 2018).” – Mike Bernier, PE Department Chair

November 14, 2017 – Construction (GLY) on the Cardinal Union Building continues to make progress! The new gym portion of the building will reach full height in November and the classroom portion of the building will reach full-height in December. In late October, as the gym structure was taking shape, Seattle Academy’s PE Department Chair, Mike Bernier, was able to tour the space for the first time and reflect on some SAAS history while sharing his excitement for the future of the Physical Education program at SAAS.

As I think about what PE was like when I started in 2000, I’m excited for this next phase of our growth.  When I started at SAAS, we were walking or driving our classes all over the city, every day, every class.  Developing coherent lessons and units was challenging given the wide variety of places we went and the unpredictability of weather and traffic.  We had some classes in the current Middle School Building, but mostly we were going to the Asian Resource Center, the Boys & Girls Club, or the YMCA.  We walked to Bobby Morris all the time, and Volunteer and Judkins Parks were frequent stops.  I remember driving one of my classes to Denny Park. When we got to the park, I noticed I had forgotten our equipment at the Temple!  I improvised, and we had a fun class, but having the right gear would not have been an issue if we were on campus.

“These spaces will flip the script for our department and the kids we teach.  We will spend MUCH less time on buses, and MUCH more time playing and learning. We will spend more time planning our teaching and less time planning for transportation.  We will have more space per class.  And the weather and traffic will be much less of a factor in our plans.  It will all add up to more time for playing and learning.– Mike Bernier 

Things improved greatly when we built the main gym in 2002. We make full use of every inch of that building – not only the gym floor, but also using the mezzanine and weight room often.  We’ve made great improvements in developing our program and I know these new spaces will help us improve our game – by flipping the script. I’m looking forward to kids walking to the gym or rooftop field and playing for the full period – no buses – no need to pack gear – no worry about the field being used by someone else – just lots more play.  I can hardly wait!


WHAT’S NEXT? In late November, work on the exterior enclosure framing will start. The exterior of the building will begin to take shape by early 2018 with the installation of glass windows and the brick façade. While there are still many construction milestones ahead, we look forward to the Fall 2018 opening of the Cardinal Union Building!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the SAAS Rising Campaign.


Above: Mike Bernier inside the future Gym space. Below: Additional Gym and Outdoor Playfield Opening Fall 2018