What is the SAAS Rising Campaign?

Seattle Academy embarked on a $35 million dollar campaign to transform our campus on the 12th Avenue block. Phase one of the campaign was the 35,000 square foot STREAM (science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and math) building. Renovations in the Vanderbilt will create additional space for humanities classes. In the second phase the Middle School program will be brought to the Cardinal Union Building, an all-new 70,000 square foot structure on the corner of E Union and 13th Ave East. As of June 2018, Seattle Academy successfully completed the SAAS Rising Campaign and raised our $35 million goal for the STREAM and new Middle School buildings.

While fundraising for SAAS Rising will you continue to fundraise for the Annual Fund?

Yes! The Annual Fund is Seattle Academy’s primary campaign for program support and we will continue to ask our community to start their philanthropy at SAAS with a gift to the Annual Fund. The scope of donor participation is unique to each family. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your philanthropy and how you can support SAAS.

Cardinal Union

What programs will be in the new Cardinal Union?

The 70,000 square foot building will include our entire Middle School program including classrooms for humanities, arts, foreign language, and purpose-built science labs. The building will also include a second gym, outdoor playfield, instrumental music classroom and rehearsal room and Middle School Learning Commons that can do triple service as a Middle School lunchroom, collaborative working space and community gathering space.

When the Middle School is on the 12th Avenue block, will 6th-8th graders be separated from the Upper School?

Yes, Middle School students will have their own spaces to gather and study as well as move between classes. Seattle Academy will experience many efficiencies when the Middle School is located on the 12th Ave. Block, but it is important for the Middle School program to have clearly defined spaces.

Is SAAS building new facilities to create space to grow enrollment?

SAAS has no plans to substantively grow enrollment in the next 3-5 years. These new facilities are designed to enhance opportunities and expand curriculum for our current student body.


How long will it take to build the Cardinal Union Building?

The construction phase for this project will begin in March 2017 and will be completed by Fall 2018.

What will be the impact of construction on students and instruction?

The impact of construction on students and instruction should be minimal and will be closely monitored and coordinated with our construction team. Additional parking on 14th and Columbia and flexible classroom space in the 12th Avenue Annex will allow for maximum flexibility throughout construction.

Will Cardinal Union construction impact traffic, school pick-up and drop-off, athletic pick-up, or parking for evening events and meetings? How do I learn where to go if plans are altered?

Seattle Academy will communicate frequently with parents and neighbors about any expected traffic impacts. Alternate pick-up and drop-off, athletic pick-up and parking information is available on our Transportation Information page on InsideSAAS.

Budget and Cost

How much will the STREAM and new Cardinal Union Building facilities cost to build?

The STREAM Building cost $22 million to build and the new Cardinal Union Building is expected to cost $48 million for a combined total cost of $70 million.

The philanthropic goal of $35 million for the Campaign isn’t enough to cover the cost of the projects, what are we doing to pay for the rest?

Seattle Academy secured $27.5 million in debt financing during Summer 2016. SAAS has been debt free since 2011 and is in a strong position to secure financing. CFO Margi Nui and the Finance and Audit Committee followed an extensive process to secure the best debt option for SAAS during the 2015-2016 school year.

Will the operating costs of the new facilities increase tuition?

In the past five years, annual tuition increases have ranged from 4-5% in accordance with the increased costs of running the school each year. We are dedicated to keeping tuition costs manageable and increases minimal. There is no plan for an increase in tuition to build or maintain these facilities.

Campus Master Plan

What will happen to the Temple after 2018?

Seattle Academy is deeply grateful for the strong relationship with the Temple De Hirsch Sinai since our founding in that location in 1983. Our current lease at the Temple runs through June 2018. In June 2018 Seattle Academy has the option to renew our lease for five additional years.

What will happen to Mother’s Place?

Seattle Academy is committed to our beneficial partnership with Mother’s Place and has no plans to alter the current operation of the program.

What is the 12th Avenue Annex?

In October 2014 Seattle Academy leased additional flexible classroom and rehearsal space in the 12th Ave. Arts building two blocks north of the Vanderbilt. This additional space will allow for program flexibility through Spring 2019 during campus transformation construction.

What are the plans for outdoor space on the 12th Avenue block?

SAAS highly values outdoor space for students to gather, study and practice athletics. The new Cardinal Union Building includes a rooftop outdoor playfield. In our long-term master plan we see potential opportunities for additional urban outdoor space on the 12th Avenue block including the existing Gym and potential future development of the Storage Building.


What programs are in the new STREAM Building?

The five-story plus basement, 35,000 square foot building includes six state-of-the-art science labs including two chemistry labs, two biology labs, one physics lab and a general science lab as well as an innovations laboratory which will be the home of the robotics program. A new learning commons will serve as an independent study and group-project work space, community gathering space and lunchroom. The building will also include space for math and science faculty offices.

How does the STREAM building design address sustainability?

The STREAM Building was designed and built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Standards using sustainable materials and adhering to stringent environmental guidelines. Highlights of the sustainability efforts for the building include an environmentally productive roof with drought tolerant native plants, solar panel infrastructure, and rain water harvesting in an 11,000+ gallon cistern.

Learn More

How can I learn more about SAAS Rising: A Campaign for Campus Transformation?

Visit the SAAS Rising website at or contact Erin Culbertson at or by calling 206.676.6863.