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A Glimpse into the Future
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Construction on the ULab continues (pictured above).

A Glimpse into the Future
A student’s firsthand tour of the campus expansion

Since breaking ground for the ULab in March of 2022, no single student has been given the opportunity to receive a full tour of University Prep’s newest addition to campus. Other than a brief walk-through by the engineering class in January of 2023, the three-story building has been left unexplored by everyone but the construction workers and a few UPrep staff members involved in the project. 

On Thursday, May 4, I was lucky enough to be the first. Accompanied by Head of School Ronnie Codrington-Cazeau and Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations Susan Lansverk, we crossed 25th and walked up to the building on one of Seattle’s many cloudy days. 

In preparation, I was given what Lansverk called PPE, Personal Protection Equipment, which included a hard hat, safety glasses, and a brightly colored neon vest. Our first stop of the tour was planned to be the “Wellness Space,” a double-height, half-court gym on the lowest floor of the building. Unfortunately, construction had different plans, so instead, we made our way around the building to what will become the main entrance come next fall. 

The ULab Commons at University Prep May 2023

The Commons

As we entered, the partially wrapped building gave way to a large open space framed with the structure of a few off-to-the-side rooms. We were standing among the bones of the ULab Commons area.

The College Counseling Office at University Prep 2023

The College Counseling Office

Although mostly unwrapped and missing the bricks that would be put up over the summer, I could already see the makings of the layout. The frames of large windows lined the eastern-facing side while classrooms and the new College Counseling Office were placed toward the west.

Inside the ULab at University Prep May 2023

The second floor balcony 

On the second floor, more of the same classrooms were visible, expected to be used for Makerspace and project classrooms. Some smaller rooms off to the south side were already getting their walls bolted on while others stood with only their metal structures. In the middle of the floor was an open balcony that overlooked the Commons area on the floor below.

The ULab Rooftop Deck at University Prep May 2023

The Rooftop Deck

After a short walk around, we made our way up the stairs to the third and final floor. We passed more soon-to-be classrooms, which lined both sides of the hallway, and came to the final destination of the tour, the rooftop deck. The deck, designed with overhead solar panels to power the building, will also be an area where students will have various outside classes. 

As we made our way back through the hallway and past an opening in the wall, I could see UPrep from an angle I’d never seen before. Looking across the street to the school and imagining the students within it, I was excited to see their reaction to the new building and all it will offer.

Image of Student Sydney W. at University Prep

Article and photographs by Sydney W., junior, reporter for The Puma Press


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