In 1882, the families then living in Sunnydale banded together and built a one-room schoolhouse beside Miller Creek. In 1904, the parents of the students again took up their hammers and constructed the four-room structure printed here. It was sited about 100 yards to the west of the original school. Remarkably, this 1904 schoolhouse, with its high ceilings, moldings, and wide hallways, survives within the envelope of the existing school.
Of course, it has grown with Burien. When new the school served 70 students; now more than 500 in grades from K through 6 use the landmark. In 1929 the structure was also pivoted 90 degrees to the south to make a footprint more flexible for growth. And, as they say, the rest has been reading, writing, arithmetic and deportment – and will continue so.
The Sunnydale School House, at 15631 Des Moines Way in Burien, is now 100 years old. The structure has, of course, been enlarged and even turned 90 degrees to face south towards South 156th Street. But in the interests of “origins” both these “now and then” views look at the original east face across what since 1921 has been known as Des Moines Memorial Drive.
(Historical photo courtesy of Highline Historical Society.)
(Contemporary photo by Kenneth M. Blakeslee Jr.)