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Old 07-24-2007, 11:54 AM
 
91 posts, read 417,993 times
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I noticed that Olympia was listed 3 ways in city-data: Olympia, O West and O East. Can someone shed some light into the difference between East and West?
Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:01 PM
DBM
 
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There is an actual town named "East Olympia," but I don't think that's what's going on here. It looks to me that the city-data divisions include a total for Olympia, then two subtotals for areas within Olympia (the numbers don't exactly match up, but they're pretty close and might match up if you exclude downtown residents).

If my assumption is correct, Olympia West, usually referred to as "West Olympia" or the "West Side" is the area west of Budd Inlet and Capital Lake, and includes the "near" Westside around Harrison, the Capital Mall area, Cooper Point and Steamboat Island, and the Black Lake area.

Olympia East would be everything east of Budd Inlet and Capital Lake, and includes the area around the Capitol, everything up the hill from downtown as you go eastward, the east shore of Budd Inlet (Boston Harbor, Priest Point Park, etc.), and the area around Olympia High School (also referred to as "Southeast Olympia.") Ironically, I'm pretty sure that Olympia East does not include "East Olympia," which is a remnant town, now a neighborhood about 5 miles outside the Olympia city boundaries.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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Is one side safer than the other? Or are those areas too big to lump together?

What areas within each side would you recommend that has good schools and is family friendly?

Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:51 PM
DBM
 
96 posts, read 475,986 times
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As you suspected, the areas are too big to make many generalizations, particularly as to specific neighborhoods as "family friendly." I don't know what price range you're looking for or the ages of your kids, so I'll just answer as best I can for middle of the road prices ($200-$300K homes) and for elementary school kids.

As far as schools are concerned, the Olympia School District in general is quite good. If you're looking at the whole South Sound area, Tumwater schools are viewed as a good solid second place and North Thurston a bit behind. Note that I am commenting on perception -- the numbers generally back this up, but are subject to lots of different interpretations.

Within Oly, the current most-favored (I won't say "best" because I really don't know) schools are Pioneer and Centennial Elementary Schools, Washington Middle School, and Olympia High School. These are all in southeast Olympia and are all surrounded by good neighborhoods that would qualify as family-friendly. Capital High School is out of favor at the moment, but a large part of the negativity is related to personnel, which has already changed over and will continue to change in the future. I don't know enough about other elementary or middle schools to comment or advise against any.

With respect to safety, I can again only give my impressions. Southeast Olympia and the South Capital neighbehood seem quiet -- maybe some property crime. Cooper Point, once you get out beyond Capital High and Jefferson Middle School is pretty quiet -- also some property crime. The near westside, between Harrison St. and Jefferson Middle School seems to have some problems, as does the area around Puget Street on the eastside. Other areas are more hit-and-miss, and I just don't know enough.

Keep in mind that everything is relative -- North Thurston Schools aren't awful, they're just not considered as good as Oly and Tumwater. Similarly, what I consider safe, family-friendly, etc., may not meet your definition. In many ways, the Oly area is WYSIWYG -- what you see is what you get. Just look around at the neighborhoods, the streets, the parks -- if things look OK, there's a good chance they are.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:22 AM
 
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Thank you so much for the insite! We are trying to narrow down the area and things are never quite what they weem when you are a visitor.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Blue Cloud, Helena, MT
70 posts, read 111,797 times
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Inside intel: Eastside has less snow in Winter, better breeze in the Summer, and close to shopping in Lacey. Westside: too many argo hippies who think they are the gestapo (like City Year CIA agents).
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Olympia
1,022 posts, read 3,984,144 times
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aplwh,

If you're commuting to work north of Olympia, the east side is going to be a shorter commute. If you like to live close to major shopping, the west side will be better, as the mall and many big box stores are located there. If you like to be able to walk into town and like older homes, the South Capitol neighborhood, Eastside neighborhood, Bigelow neighborhood and the close-in West Side will be close contenders. The best advice I can give you is to visit and drive around the various neighborhoods to get an idea of the amenities, views, location, condition of homes, prices, etc. No descriptions and advice can replace the feel you get for yourself.
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