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Raisbeck Aviation High School

Tukwila, Washington

District: Highline School District

Number of students: 400

Square feet: 86,300

Date completed: 2013




2015 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), James D. MacConnell Award, Finalist

2015 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), Polished Apple, Merit Award

2014 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), New Construction, Merit Award

2011 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), Polished Apple, People’s Choice Award

Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS) was conceived as a response to Highline Public Schools’ desire to provide students access to engineering professions, its proximity to the aviation industry, and its educational vision that melds hands-on, project-based learning with academic rigor. The new 400-student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) school enables students to flourish through co-location with the Museum of Flight and immersion in aerospace and aviation.

The design responds to the site and program with a three-story building featuring: a grand central stairway that provides the school’s social hub, informal learning opportunities, and student display areas. Learning clusters radiate from the stairs, each with a flexible breakout area overlooking airport activity to the east or boat traffic on the Duwamish River to the west. The Commons and Multi-Purpose Room transform into one, two-level space enabling students to deliver formal presentations to industry partners and the student body. Labs are designed to support the robotics program and are outfitted with equipment, technology, and a wind tunnel to encourage a broad range of exploration. Ground floor labs promote educational partnership with the Museum of Flight by opening directly to the museum’s Airpark – an outdoor aircraft gallery where prestigious planes are exhibited. Small conference rooms support the school’s mentor/student agenda and provide private areas for discussion and exchange.


“It was worth waiting for – to get a location with 200 air and space related entities and be on the property with the Museum of Flight, and to get a school with a design that just speaks to what we do here … It extends the learning opportunity – the learning on this campus is amazing!”

Reba Gilman, Former Principal and CEO, Raisbeck Aviation High School