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Todd Beamer High School

Federal Way, Washington

School District: Federal Way

Number of students: 1,300

Square feet: 161,000

Date completed: 2003

Features

CTE/STEM
CTE/STEM
Performing Arts
Performing Arts
Programming
Programming
Sustainable
Sustainable

Awards

2004 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), Merit Award

2004 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), James D. MacConnell Award Finalist

2004 DesignShare Awards for Innovative Schools

2004 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), Polished Apple, Merit Award

Todd Beamer High School is the winner of the 2004 Council of Educational Facility Planners International Polished Apple Award and a James D. MacConnell Award Finalist. The school is designed to accommodate 1,300 students on a pastoral site adjacent to the Hylebos Creek. The design process explored strategies that allow educators to use the building in a wide variety of curricular and organizational models ranging from comprehensive departmental schools to a grouping of small, semi-autonomous learning communities.

The building is organized as an assemblage of structures gathered around a central courtyard that opens out to the playfields and salmon-bearing creek beyond. The village organization intentionally reinforces more personalized smaller groupings while also recalling the historic rural settlement patterns of the area.

The design of the new high school encourages discovery. The casual grouping of spaces and forms terraced into the undulating topography allows sequential movement patterns; daylight penetration throughout the building; and varied volumes, textures, and colors reflecting the complex pluralism of the community.

Learning spaces are flexible and convertible to accommodate changing methodologies and technology. Adaptable structural, mechanical, electrical, and furnishing systems were chosen following extensive discussions with district leaders. Durability, maintenance, and safety issues along with cost-effective solutions were also critical components of the design.

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