Seabeck Elementary School “was a community”. A place that united the community as a gathering place back to pioneer days. The school has always been the “community” where children, parents, grandparents and neighbors were educated and came together for generations. People told stories about events held at the site with a sense of nostalgia. The closed and removed elementary school is a tremendous loss to the community.
Mr. D.L. Pierpont begin teaching in Seabeck in 1858. The first school was likely held in the Washington Mill Company Cookhouse. The first “Little Red Schoolhouse” was built on the site of the present day fire station in 1860. The Mill presented the community with a library of over 500 books. The library was in the school and opened evenings for community use. The second school had 2 rooms and was completed in 1878. The building cost was $1267 paid for by the Mill. Seabeck received $371 from the county in 1879 for operation of the school. In 1884 Seabeck was the largest school in the District of Kitsap with an enrollment of 96 students. There were no funds for Seabeck’s third school so, bonds were passed in 1916 and a nice 2 room building was completed. The fourth school was opened in 1956 with 3 rooms, offices, gym, kitchen and bathrooms but it burned 5 months after opening. There was no Seabeck Fire Station to the attack the blaze. In 1958 the fifth school was opened with improved fire resistant materials and had 113 students. The campus expanded over the years and a new gym was constructed in 1990.
The removed elementary school is now a gravel parking area. The gym remains and is now called the Multi-Purpose Building. This building is being converted to “Seabeck Community Center”. The entire site, including the Multi-Purpose Building, sports fields and parking facilities, is now the “Seabeck Community Campus”.
The Seabeck Community Center’s Mission is to contribute to the community’s vitality by:
Establishing and safeguarding community owned assets and natural resources, ensuring availability to all.
Developing and maintaining excellent facilities for education and recreation, relaxation, gathering and solitude.
Providing and coordinating community services and programs that contribute to the health and well-being of residents of all ages and abilities.
The Seabeck Community Center’s Vision is to develop a public place in Seabeck that provides: Educational and Recreational opportunities; a place to connect people and that preserves the natural beauty of our community. Seabeck residents will treasure and care for this legacy; building on the history of the elementary school site to provide for future generations.
Photo Credits: Kurt Schnuit (Seabeck Center, Pizza & Coffee, Crab Pot, Orca) Lynn Wilson (Eagle, Winter Beach, Winter Harbor, Red Sky) Yvonne Kaiser (Sailboat, Canal South)