This People's History of Holgate Aircraft Branch is taken from Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000 by Nile Thompson and Carolyn J. Marr. That book, published in 2002 by Seattle Public Schools, compiled profiles of all the public school buildings that had been used by the school district since its formation around 1862. The profiles from the book are being made available as People's Histories on HistoryLink.org courtesy of Seattle Public Schools. It should be noted that these essays are from 2000. Some of the buildings profiled are historic, some of recent vintage, and many no longer exist (new names and buildings not included in these profiles from 2000 have been added), but each plays or has played an important role in the education of Seattle's youth.
Holgate Aircraft Branch
By 1949, the program had been transferred from the Capitol Hill campus. In June that year, the Civil Aviation Authority certified the program as a licensed aircraft-and-engine mechanics' training school. The Aircraft Branch of Edison Technical School operated in portable buildings constructed on this Georgetown property near Boeing Field by the federal government during World War II. In 1955, the school district purchased a C-45 Beechcraft for the branch from the U.S. Air Force "for training in motor maintenance, tuning, adjusting and general body and control service."
When the site was handed over to the state in 1967, the Seattle Community College horticulture classes, which had been held at the district's Beacon Hill site (roughly between Interstate 5, S Pearl, S Alaska and 12th Avenue S), were moved to the Aircraft Branch, where students landscaped the facility as part of their classwork. In the 1970s, the aviation section relocated to the main campus of South Seattle Community College. The site is still a center operated by that campus in the same 1940s structures.
Name: Aircraft Branch, Holgate Technical School
Location: 6647 Corson Avenue; later 6770 E Marginal Way
Site: 2.94 acres
n.a.: Site of chicken ranch
n.a.: Acquired by federal government
1949: Buildings erected and program begun under Edison Technical School
1950: Property purchased by district
1962: Became part of new Holgate Technical School
1966: Became part of Seattle Community College
1967: Transferred to Washington State
Use of Holgate Aircraft Branch site in 2000
Duwamish Industrial Center, South Seattle Community College