Spanaway Elementary School’s design was influenced by the school’s strong connection to the community and by the small project site. An onsite social worker, food, and clothing bank provide support for families in need, and the greenhouse and fenced garden area provide sustainable elements to the campus as well as a focal point and learning opportunity for students.
The compact site plan uses an “L” shaped design, housing classrooms in one wing and shared program spaces – library, music classroom, gym, and cafeteria – in the other. Classrooms are paired with adjoining angled walls to easily accommodate team teaching, and the design included lightshelves and clerestory windows to bring daylight into the teaching spaces. The design also allows the music classroom to open up as a stage so that it can serve as a performance space.
The commons and gymnasium were created as flexible spaces and can open to create a large assembly space for students. The space can also easily be isolated from the remainder of the school to accommodate community use after hours as needed.