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I. Purpose of Applicant’s Analysis
The Federal assistance, which you have requested, is of a nature that requires
submission of an analysis of the probable environmental effects of the proposed project.
Authority for such action is derived from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of
1969 (P.L. 91-190). This analysis should conform in format with the outline described
below as may be most applicable to the circumstances of your particular project. The
analysis will be separately bound and accompany the applicant’s formal request for
assistance. Since required ED/NEPA assessment of the environmental impact of any
particular project cannot be initiated without prior submission of such data by the
applicant, the processing of such applications will be deferred by ED pending receipt of
such an analysis.
In the event that the Department determines that preparation of an Environmental
Impact Statement will be necessary, the applicant may be requested to furnish
additional materials to facilitate the development of such a document by Regional Office
Applicants are further cautioned that conformance with ED/NEPA procedures shall not
obviate the need for applicant compliance with applicable state and local environmental
use and review requirements.
Should you have any questions regarding the preparation of your analysis, contact your
Federal program officer.
II. Suggested Outline for Applicant’s Analysis
A. Objective of the Proposed Action
Please describe the objective(s) of the proposed action as to what needs will
such action attempt to meet, and the nature of the project (i.e., briefly
identify the project as being an alteration or expansion to an existing facility,
a new or additional facility by itself, or an initial or planned component part
of a complex or facilities) and what will be the estimated duration and
financial costs for construction of the planned facility.
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) proposes to renovate the existing Federal Reserve Bank building,
located at 1015 Second Avenue in downtown Seattle for a new pre -K-5 elementary school.
Except for a small (300 student) high school program at the Seattle Center, Seattle has not had a
public school in the downtown area for 65 years. With the residential population growing to
nearly 60,000 downtown Seattle, according to the Downtown Seattle Association, the demand
for a school to accommodate K-8-age children by 2016 is over 500.
Environmental Questionnaire Page 2 of 10
The Federal Reserve Bank is a six-story, 108,500 gross sq. ft. office building which was the
former home of the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Bank
operations moved to a new location out of the city in 2008. The new downtown school would
accommodate approximately 660 students, 50 Pre-Kindergarten children and 60 staff. The
project will involve interior remodel and an addition of 10,500 sq ft to create 27-34 classrooms,
a library, a gymnasium, cafeteria, administrative offices, other support services, and a rooftop
outdoor play area.
The estimated construction duration would be eighteen months at a cost of $30,400,000.00 to
B. Description of the Environment to be Affected
The environment should be considered as being that area which the proposed
project would both impact upon and serve. The greatest detail should
concern the probable environmental impact of the project on the particular
site of construction and its surrounding community, both in the short and
long term. This section should broadly and briefly discuss the geography of
the area, wildlife, water and air quality, area population and potential users
of the service to be provided, the economy of the area, and any present
Recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Federal Reserve Bank building is
located in the government/financial district of downtown Seattle, four blocks from the Seattle
waterfront and Elliott Bay (see Figure 1). North of the site is a growing residential area known as
Belltown. The building is relatively low-rise in comparison to its neighbors. It is in a highly
urbanized area with one of the tallest buildings on the west coast, Columbia Tower (65 stories),
just two blocks east and south of this site (see Figure 2). There is an intense level of activity of
vehicles and pedestrians during daylight hours.
The Ground Floor of the Federal Reserve Bank building fronts Second Avenue between Spring
Street on the north and Madison Street on the south. The 26,000 sq. ft. parcel slopes down to
the west toward Elliott Bay. An alley, formerly used for load/unload of armored vehicles,
separates it on the west from office, retail and residential uses. To the north across Spring Street
and to the south across Madison Street are other developed downtown properties. Other
nearby prominent destination sites are the Seattle Central Library, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art
Museum, and Benaroya Concert Hall.
Street trees are abundant throughout most of downtown and intermittent other vegetation is
provided in large planters at street and plaza entry levels. These provide habitat for the usual
varieties of bird and mammal species that are accustomed to an urban environment such as:
American crow, northern flicker, American robin, Bewick’s wren, black-capped chickadee,
spotted towhee, song sparrow, house sparrow, pigeons, western gray squirrel, Norway rat,
raccoons, and opossums.
Environmental Questionnaire Page 3 of 10
C. Probable Environmental Effects of the Proposed Action
Please provide a narrative explanation of the probable environmental effects
occurring in each of the following 42 areas of importance:
1. Describe the property that will be directly affected by the construction. Is
it in a rural, urban or suburban area? Is it directly associated with current
facilities operated by the applicant? Please describe the specific piece of land
upon which the construction will occur in terms of its current use by man. If
the land is in a natural state, please provide a brief description with respect
to plant and animal life.
Address: 1015 Second Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.
King County APN: 093900-0520; SE ¼ Section 31, Township 25; Range 4 East
Legal Description: Lots 2-3 and Lost 7-7, Bock 12, Boren and Denny’s Addition less the Street.
The former Federal Reserve Bank building sits vacant, occupying the total of one half city block,
a parcel that is about 26,000 sq. ft. in area. The building fronts Second Avenue on the east, and
sits between Spring Street on the north, Madison Street on the south, and an alley on the west.
Built in 1950, the building is a six story structure of about 91,000 sq ft. in a highly urban area.
The majority of construction activities will occur inside the existing building with 10,500 square
feet of additional floor space added to the second, third and fourth floors. The addition is made
possible by building out an area above the first floor where the upper façade is recessed on the
western or alley-side of the building.
Currently, Seattle Public Schools has no association with this facility or its former occupants.
2. Describe the surrounding area. Is it primarily residential, industrial,
agricultural, etc.? Has the area been formally zoned for specific uses? Please
provide a map of the immediate area covering approximately one square
mile. (Street maps or line drawings for urban projects are sufficient.)
The Federal Reserve Bank building is surrounded by mostly high-rise office buildings. Directly
across Second Avenue to the east is the 1000 2
Avenue Building, a 41-story office tower. To
the south across Madison Street are the 36-story Jackson Federal Building and 47-story Wells
Fargo Center. Across the alley on the west is the 10-story Madison Hotel & Tower and 5-story
Holyoke Building, a retail/office building. North of the site across Spring Street are the 8-story
SDL Office Building and 5-story Security Pacific Office Building. This area of downtown is zoned
Downtown Office Core 1 Unlimited/450/Unlimited (DOC 1 U/450/U). DOC 1 generally allows
most commercial, institutional and residential uses. It has no height limitations or parking
requirements. See Figure 2 Project Site.
3. Will the construction occur in a flood plain, wetland area, desert, tundra,
or some other type of unique geological/meteorological interest?
No, the project will not occur in a flood plain, wetland area or other unique natural resource
area. Construction activities would be entirely in a highly urban downtown area.
Environmental Questionnaire Page 4 of 10
4. Will existing underground service systems (sewage, water, telephone
cables, etc.) require more than alterations associated with routing
connections or hookups? If so, please describe.
No existing underground service systems would require more than routine connections and
5. Please describe the composition of the sub-surface area. Are there
mineral deposits? (Applicable only for all new complexes as well as new
facilities in rural and suburban areas.)
Not applicable. This is not a new complex but re-use of an existing building in a highly urbanized
6. Will the facility obtain water from a natural source, such as wells, rivers,
lakes, catchment basins, etc.?
No water from a natural source will be obtained. Water supply will be from a municipal source
through Seattle Public Utilities.
7. How high will the facility be from ground level? Are there any aircraft
approach or departure patterns, TV or radio transmission facilities within
three horizontal miles of the facility? If so, please describe.
The existing structure is six stories and approximately 64 feet in height, much lower than most
surrounding buildings (see discussion in Item 2). The site is in the Downtown Transitional Area
(TN) of an approach/departure pattern for King County Municipal Airport, also known as Boeing
Field, which is located approximately six miles from the site. TV and radio transmission facilities
are within three miles of the facility, but no interference is anticipated.
8. Describe any new air pollution sources that will be introduced as part of
the facility (heating, cooling, incineration, etc.) together with the emission
rates expected. Provide the percent increase of emissions from the usage of
existing sources. Please classify such sources as to short-term (construction)
and long-term (operation) and describe methods for minimizing such effects
if such remedies are known.
There would be no new pollution source introduced. Other than an increase in traffic volumes,
no increase in emissions above its prior use is anticipated. During construction, there will be an
increase in truck traffic noticeable to nearby occupants and sidewalk pedestrians, but this is not
expected to result in significant impacts to traffic operations in the site vicinity. See discussion
in Item 9 below for further details of operational effects on traffic.
9. Approximately, how many vehicles will be introduced into the area on a
daily basis as a result of the operation of the facility? What is the
approximate percentage increase in daily traffic in the area?
Vehicle traffic generated by the Federal Reserve Bank before it relocated is not readily available.
However using trip generation rates established by the commonly referenced Institute of
Transportation Engineers (ITE), a 67,000 sq.ft. general office building (ITE Code 710) would
generate on average about 740 vehicle trips per day. For comparison purposes an elementary
Environmental Questionnaire Page 5 of 10
school with 660 enrollment is expected to generate about 480 vehicle trips per day, according to
the ITE Manual. The calculation includes both buses and staff. A detailed transportation
analysis would likely yield less volume for both of these uses in this downtown location where
transit services are widely available. Such an analysis would be conducted if this project moves
further into the design phase, and would be performed in coordination with Seattle’s
Department of Transportation (SDOT). The peak traffic volumes for the school are expected to
occur in the morning just before school between 9:00 and 10:00 A.M. It is Seattle Public Schools
experience that four school buses and four special education buses would be adequate to serve
projected enrollment of this size. For this downtown location, it is anticipated that more
students than at its other schools would arrive by transit or by foot, accompanied by parents
who are downtown residents or are commuting to downtown employment. More detailed
analysis of the anticipated enrollment area for this proposed school and identification of the
walking attendance area may yield different estimates of trip generation and mode split. Based
on current conditions, traffic associated with the new school is expected to add some delay to
the study-area intersections during the peak 20 minutes before and after school.
10. How much additional water (runoff or otherwise) will be diverted into
natural water systems? (Not applicable for modifications or alterations.)
Through what channels will the water flow into such a system? Will the
additional flow of water introduce or increase the number of annual
occurrences of flood conditions? (As necessary, describe steps that will be
taken to prevent this.)
No additional water will be diverted into natural systems. This project is re-use of an existing
building in a highly urban downtown environment. No new impervious surface is anticipated.
11. Will an identifiable increase in sedimentation occur in any natural water
system during construction and/or operation?
No increase in sediment will occur during construction or operation.
12. Will the facility introduce or increase the occurrence of water systems,
including sewage lines, outside the facility? If so, please describe in general
terms. If traps, etc., are to be installed in the facility, please identify. Also,
identify the ultimate fate of such wastes, including a sewage treatment plant
or natural water system.
While there will be an increase in the use of water and the production of wastewater, it is
expected to be in the typical range for an office/school building with 800 occupants.
13. Describe the sound created by the facility which will be audible in the
immediate area (external to the building) other than sounds associated with
the normal functioning of a human population.
Sounds would be typical of any commercial office/school use in a highly urban downtown
Environmental Questionnaire Page 6 of 10
14. Describe the new electromagnetic wave sources that will be used in the
facility and identify the extent to which they may be identifiable external to
the structure. (Exclude light sources.)
No new electromagnetic wave sources would be used in the facility than those typically used in
a commercial office/school building.
15. Describe external light sources that will be introduced, if any, above and
beyond street lighting.
Additional security and street lighting typical for a commercial office/school building may be
expected to be introduced.
16. To what extent will the facility alter existing wind patterns? (Generally
applicable only in rural areas or highly developed urban areas when a wind
tunnel would be created or the current wind velocity increased considerably.)
This proposal is to re-use an existing building. No change in wind patterns is expected.
17. During the operation of the facility, will any materials be recycled and/or
discarded which could reasonably be recycled? If so, please describe.
Seattle Public Schools has a policy to recycle or reuse materials during renovations of existing
buildings to the extent possible.
18. Will contaminants be stored at the facility? If so, please describe
physical safeguards that will be used to guard against their introduction to
the natural environment should they be accidentally released (fuel oil, large
amounts of chemicals, etc.).
No contaminants would be stored other than those typical for use in a commercial office/school
19. Approximately how many people now live in the immediate area? How
many people can be expected to live in the immediate area as a result of the
operation of the facility (or complex)?
A 2014 report by the Downtown Seattle Association for the neighborhoods in the Center City
area (Belltown, Denny Triangle/South Lake Union, Retail Core/Waterfront, and Uptown) is
estimated at 32,875 people. The project is not expected to create any new residential units.
20. Approximately how many temporary residents will be introduced to the
area during construction? (Generally applicable only to rural projects.)
No temporary residents would be introduced during construction.
21. Approximately how many temporary residents will normally be
associated with the operation of the facility (or complex)?
No temporary residents would be associated with operation of the facility.
22. Approximately how many additional transients will be introduced to the
area on a daily basis during operation (e.g., staff, students, etc.)?
Seattle Public Schools anticipates an enrollment of 660 students with 64 full time and 13 part-
Environmental Questionnaire Page 7 of 10
23. If the project will use agricultural land, parks, woods, forests, prairies,
etc., list the types of animals that currently inhabit the area. Generally
describe the site in terms of flora which will be destroyed or altered.
The project is in a highly urban downtown environment. No flora or fauna will be destroyed or
24. Will the construction of the facility disrupt any of the following services
to a human population for more than 24 hours (water, electrical power,
natural gas, or sewage)?
It is not anticipated that renovation activity would disrupt any public utilities or services.
25. How much electricity will the facility (complex) utilize (peak load)?
Provide the name and address of the source supplying the electricity.
The electrical service supplier is Seattle City Light, Suite 3200/ 700 Fifth Ave./Seattle, WA
98124. Peak load would be typical for a commercial office use of 800 people in this size of
26. How much water will the facility (complex) use in a normal day? What is
the system that provides the water (name and address of system)? What is
the immediate source (reservoir, pumping station, water tower, etc.)?
Water supply is provided by Seattle Public Utilities, Suite 4900/ 700 Fifth Ave/Seattle, WA
98124. The downtown area can be served by multiple in-city sources, but they are primarily
served by the Lincoln or Beacon Reservoirs, both of which are lidded.
27. How much sewage will the facility generate on a daily basis? Will the
sewage be handled by a sewage treatment facility? If so, provide the name
and address of the system and identify the particular facility by name. What
level of treatment (primary, secondary, tertiary) does the plant provide?
What is the remaining capacity of the plant?
Wastewater generated at this site would be typical of a commercial office/school building with
800 occupants. Wastewater service is provided by Seattle Public Utilities, Suite 4900, 700 Fifth
Ave/Seattle, WA 98124. Wastewater is treated at the West Point Treatment Plant which
provides state of the art secondary treatment and has capacity for projected growth through
28. How much solid waste will be generated by the facility (complex) on a
daily basis? What is the ultimate disposal of this waste (landfill, incineration,
recycle)? Please provide the name and address of any service organization
that will be associated with the removal of wastes.
Solid waste generated at this site would be typical of a commercial office /public school use with
800 occupants. Solid waste service is provided by Seattle Public Utilities, suite 4900, 700 Fifth
Ave/Seattle, WA 98124. Approximately 44% of Seattle’s waste is composted or recycled,
leaving 56% that is hauled to a landfill in eastern Oregon.
Environmental Questionnaire Page 8 of 10
29. Will any residences, hotels, rooming houses, etc., be destroyed or
temporarily vacated as a result of the project? If so, please describe the
facilities and the people that will be affected.
No residences, hotels, or rooming houses would be destroyed or vacated as a result of this
project. The project is reuse of an existing commercial office building.
30. Will any of the following existing services be altered through the
construction of the facility: mentally retarded or handicapped, educational or
day care? If so, please describe.
No services for those with special needs will be altered as a result of this project, however as in
all its public schools, an educational program for special needs students will be part of
curriculum for a new school in downtown Seattle. Daycare will also be included in the
31. Will the new facility contain (or increase the capacity) of any of the
services listed above. If so, please describe.
This project would specifically provide a pre-K-5 educational program and facility in a downtown
environment. A daycare program including outdoor play space is planned.
32. Please briefly identify those existing streets, freeways, etc., in the
immediate area that will receive the increased traffic as a result of the
operation of the facility and describe their ability to handle the increase.
The streets surrounding the site are Second Avenue, Madison Street, and Spring Street (see
Figure 2). Second Avenue is one-way southbound; Madison Street is one-way westbound; First
Avenue is two-way; and Spring Street is one-way eastbound. The major interstate thoroughfares
for regional access to the downtown core are Interstate 5 and Highway 99. Access to and from
Interstate 5 in this vicinity is along the Olive Way and Stewart Street couplets and James and
Boren Streets; access to and from Highway 99 is along Seneca and Columbia Streets. In 2012
average weekday traffic (AWDT) volumes on Second Avenue were estimated 16,400 and on First
Avenue 22,000. No counts were available on Spring or Madison Streets. However, Seneca
Street AWDT was 9,400; Columbia Street was 13,100; Stewart Street was 9,400; James Street
29,300 and Boren Street 19,700. While the increase of up to 480 vehicle trips per day will
initially add cumulatively to congestion in the downtown, the development of a public school in
the downtown is integral to the long range plan to increase the number of families creating a
live-work-play community in the downtown.
33. Will any other transportation system (e.g., subways, bus lines) be
directly affected by the operation of the facility (new service lines,
equipment, etc.)? Is there an identifiable percentage increase in the volume
of traffic? If so, please describe its geographic relationship to the project.
The former bank building is served by numerous transit routes in close proximity. There are
eight Metro Transit Routes and five Sound Transit Regional Express Routes with stops in the
dedicated bus lane which is located across the entire frontage of the site along Second Avenue.
Up the hill one block to the east is Third Avenue which is a bus-only thoroughfare during the 6 --
9 AM morning and 3-7 PM afternoon peak hours. The building is also located between two light
rail stations, University Station and Pioneer Square Station, located just two blocks to the south.
Environmental Questionnaire Page 9 of 10
Other nearby prominent destination sites are the Seattle Central Library, Seattle Aquarium,
Seattle Art Museum, and Benaroya Concert Hall.
34. Is there a site in the area which is listed or proposed for listing on the
national Register of Historic Places, the National Landmarks Registry or any
state or local variation thereof? If so, please describe its geographic
relationship to the project.
This project would involve adaptive reuse of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Seattle
Branch building built in 1950, designed by the budding architectural firm at the time, of
Naramore, Bain, Brady & Johansen, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in
February of 2014. In 2008, the building’s nomination to become a designated Seattle Landmark
was denied by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. To the northwest, directly across the
alley, is the Holyoke Building, a 5-story office/retail building, also listed on the National Register
of Historic Places in 1976. A number of other historic register properties are located in the
downtown area, especially along First Avenue.
35. Did any historic activity of significance occur on the site or will a facility
that is more than 50 years old be altered or destroyed? If so, please describe.
No historic activity of significance has occurred on the site in the last 50 years, but as noted in
response to Item 34, the Federal Reserve Bank building was listed on the National Register of
Historic Places in February 2014. Seattle Public Schools proposes to renovate the interior of the
64-year old building and add 10,500 sq. ft. of new floor area but will do so in compliance with
the conditions placed on it for preservation of its historic character.
36. Will the activity destroy or decrease access to any known or potential
archaeological sites? If so, please describe.
A search of the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation
Statewide Predictive Model indicates that the site is within an area identified as moderately at
risk of encountering archaeological finds during earth disturbing activities, as is the majority of
37. Are there any members of an endangered species in the immediate area
(as defined by the Department of Interior’s endangered species list or any
state or local variation thereof)? If so, please identify.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Priority Habitat and Species (PHS)
database and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Natural Heritage
Program (NHP) database do not indicate the presence of any federally threatened or
endangered species or critical habitat within the immediate area. The peregrine falcon, a
federal species of concern, could potentially be present in the area. The Puget Sound area is
located within the Pacific Flyway, which is a flight corridor for migrating waterfowl and other
avian fauna. The Pacific Flyway extends south from Alaska to Mexico and South America. No
portion of the proposed project would interfere with or alter the Pacific Flyway.
Environmental Questionnaire Page 10 of 10
38. Will the construction or operation of the facility violate or require a
variance from any federal, state or local laws pertaining to the visual
environment, odors, noise? If so, please identify.
No variances from existing laws pertaining to the visual environment, odors, or noise are
39. Will the construction or operation of the facility violate or require a
variance from any federal, state, or local laws pertaining to land, air or water
pollution or land use? If so, please describe.
No variances from existing laws pertaining to land, air, or water pollution or land use are
40. Will construction of the facility disrupt the cultural harmony of the
community or neighborhood? Include any pertinent information as to the
opinions of residents regarding the project impact on their life styles.
The renovation of the former Federal Reserve Bank building to an educational facility would not
disrupt the cultural harmony of the community and will enhance the neighborhood. A new
school in downtown Seattle has been encouraged by City of Seattle policies since development
of its Growth Management Comprehensive Plan for over 20 years. New school facilities have
also been promoted by the Downtown Seattle Association.
41. What are the dimensions (number of levels, gross square footage, net
usable square footage) and architectural design features (e.g., brick, stucco,
etc.) of the facility proposed for renovation or construction?
The six levels and total 91,090 gross square footages in the Federal Reserve Bank building are as
1) Basement – 25,268 sq.ft.
2) Ground Floor – 27,534 sq.ft.
3) First Floor – 15,883 sq. ft.
4) Second, Third & Fourth Floors – ea 12, 178 sq. ft.
According to King County Department of Assessments, the net square footage is about 67,141
sq. ft. It is classified as a structural steel building with cast concrete, clad in sandstone and
polished red granite.
42. What is the planned disposition (e.g., demolition, renovation for other
public use, etc.) of any facility(ies) being vacated as a result of the proposed
The proposed project will bring new life to a large building in the downtown core that has been
vacant since 2008, when the Federal Reserve Bank operations moved outside the city limits.
Seattle Public Schools proposes to renovate the interior of the building to provide classroom and
supporting space for a pre-K-5 elementary school serving 660 students.
K:\FRPA\FRPA Forms\environmental questionnaire.doc
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