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St. Thomas Elementary School

Medina, Washington

School District: Private

Number of students: 300

Square feet: 56,000

Date completed: 2008

 

Features

Early Childhood
Early Childhood
Interiors
Interiors
Master Planning
Master Planning
Programming
Programming
Sustainable
Sustainable

Awards

LEED Gold

Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol (WSSP)

2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EnergyStar Challenge

The design of St. Thomas School was shaped by three primary factors: cognitive learning research, contextual fit within the community, and environmental stewardship. The project addresses future expansion, important connections, and shared community features.

A rich variety of spaces support exploratory learning throughout the facility – from the three year old who nestles in the nurturing loft, to the exuberant 6th grader running across the playfield. The street façade of the school responds respectfully to the adjacent historic church and surroundings, while the back of the school responds to the whimsical joy of children at play. Integrated and exposed sustainable strategies allow the LEED-certified project to be used as a learning tool. Examples include an accessible green roof, incorporation of bio-swales into the playground, and thematic graphics highlighting the four seasons. St. Thomas School teaches environmental responsibility and energy savings by example, reinforcing the school’s mission to develop responsible citizens of a global society.