Roosevelt High School first opened its doors in 1922 to high expectations, offering greater educational opportunities for its students. But over time, the school’s age, use, and inadequate additions diminished its ability to deliver, prompting Seattle Public Schools to embark upon a major remodel. Rather than replacing the aging structure, the District opted for preservation and retained Bassetti.
The exterior, entry, and assembly hall were restored, and the remainder of the building was renovated. An addition included physical education and performing arts facilities and a student commons. An outdoor plaza and athletic field rounded out the addition. When students entered through the restored frontispiece, they had the opportunity to experience the school’s historic attributes and 21st century programs capable of supporting their success.
Success was fostered by the presence of both teacher planning and group areas in each professional learning community, as well as distributed administration services to increase adult presence and encourage collaboration. The new plaza off the commons visually links the outdoors with the indoors, and becomes the social heart of the campus. Architectural elements of the original theater, a landmarked interior space, were restored and the room rehabilitated as the school’s library, the heart of academic learning. The new 750-seat theater, 150-seat black box performance space, and adjoining teaching and support areas advance the school’s world class performing arts program.