One of five new Seattle Public Schools facilities opened Friday, Seattle World School moved inside the renovated T.T. Minor School at 1700 E. Union St., and is welcoming students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. 

She said the immediate concern for everyone was where the world school would be located and what district facility would house operations, as well as an additional student body with its own challenges. She said that wrap-around services makes the facility unique, because it offers students direct access to support organizations, such as the Vietnamese Friendship Association, ReWA (Refugee Women’s Alliance) and National Community Health Services. 

The new facility was part of a massive renovation project for T.T. Minor School, approved by voters in 2013 under the $695 million Building Excellence Capital Levy. The next levy will be introduced for passage in 2019. 

The new Seattle World School facility offers a commons room in the addition, kitchen and stage with more space for students, teachers and staff. Energy efficient doors and windows, as well as mechanical system updates, use of daylight lighting and automatic lighting controls help make the building more environmentally friendly. 

Opening remarks were made by Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp and state Sens. Pramila Jayapal and Jamie Pedersen, from the 37th and 43rd districts, respectively. They were joined by Seattle Public School Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, Seattle School Board Director Dr. Stephen Blanford, Schools First Finance Co-chair Melissa Pailthorp and Seattle Council PTSA President Sebrena Burr.

Jayapal said she grew up in India, traveling to America by herself when she was 16, to attend Georgetown University; her parents only had $5,000 in the bank to make the journey. Because her parents believed America offered the best opportunities for their daughter, they sent her away, she said. 

“The last thank you is for welcoming the world to our community,” Chopp said. “America’s a land of immigrants, and we must recognize, support and celebrate that common vision. My family came to this country from Croatia in 1905, some without the proper papers. They didn’t care, they just wanted to get out of the old country, and they came here to escape the oppression and the wars of the old country, the old world, looking for a better life for their kids, and thank God they came here.”