April 6, 2018
In architecture, we know a lot about dividing and conquering. Last weekend was no exception. Bassetti staff participated in two separate days of service for two Seattle Public Schools – Rainier Beach High School and Arbor Heights Elementary School.
For Rainier Beach High School (RBHS), Bassetti, in conjunction with the Association for Learning Environments’ Washington Chapter, organized the first ever annual Day of Service as a hands-on way to improve our schools. RBHS was selected as our first project after hearing inspiring stories from the students and community, and seeing the immediate need they had for improvements. Working with a diverse and energetic group of 130 volunteers that included 15 Bassetti staff members, school and district staff, and other firms from the Seattle design and construction professions, we helped refurbish and create new gathering spaces at RBHS. The projects included renovating the entry area outside of the gym with a reclaimed gym floor accent wall, replacing outdated flooring, and hand-painting a mural of international flags. Everyone also pitched in to clean the central courtyard, add a new Vikings logo for school pride, and replant the school’s front entry landscaping. Thank you to all who participated and contributed a lot of hard work to making the day a big success! Interior Designer Amanda Clausen, who organized the day of service, captured many people’s feelings when she said, “I was so excited to give back to the Rainier Beach students and was amazed at the quantity and quality of work that was accomplished and made possible by the local design community stepping up to this challenge.”
For Arbor Heights Elementary School, we worked with Washington Green Schools, Arbor Heights staff, and members of the community to help create native plant and sensory gardens accessible by everyone, fill vegetable beds, and weed around the new space. Volunteers of all ages helped out on this excellent opportunity for students, parents, teachers, staff, and neighbors to leave a lasting mark on the school. We would like to thank Washington Green Schools for organizing this great day and extend our gratitude to everyone who turned out and worked really hard to make the school’s new garden a wonderful space for teaching and learning. Talking about our continued involvement with the school, Bassetti Principal Caroline Lemay said, “Arbor Heights will always be near and dear to my heart and being part of realizing a dream of the school staff to create a garden for the students and the community was extremely rewarding.”