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2008 Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture Bow Lake Elementary School SeaTac, Washington Elementary School New Construction BLRB Architects, p.s.
Multi-Purpose Roomand Stage Community Environment: Formed from a public-public partnership between the city and the district, the City of SeaTac has a community room in the building, which is used as a community childcare center before and after school hours. This synergy between the school district and the city creates additional funding for the program, serving both public agencies at once. Community-use facilities such as the gymnasium and multi-purpose room are also strategically located in the building, allowing for convenient community access.
Student Courtyard -Looking toward the community-use facilities(Multi-Purpose Room & Gym)
“Grasslands” Neighborhood Entry and the Main Classroom Corridor Learning Environment: Consolidating two highly disparate schools into one, Bow Lake Elementary School blends the differences of students into a melting pot of educational opportunity. Home to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, the Highly Capable Program and the English Language Learning Center, representing 66 languages, the school seamlessly intermixes students in four “neighborhoods”. Each neighborhood has a distinct identity, creating personalized small learning communities within the larger setting. Uniquely integrated, students are opened to an opportunity for curiosity and a world of perspective.
Classroom withOperable Partition Learning Environment Cont.: Because of the small learning neighborhoods, students receive individualized attention, while gaining a broad educational experience. In addition, these communities have helped to retain the feel of a smaller school.
Shared Activity Area Physical Environment: The two-story, 75,000 SF facility is organized to integrate and celebrate the school’s diversity, enriching and strengthening the educational experience for all. The facility provides a centralized administrative area, and offers flexible, personalized learning by creating small communities or “neighborhoods” around shared activity areas. There are 6 classrooms clustered around the shared activity room promoting collaboration and hands-on learning.
Shared Activity Area -With Operable Glazed System Open to Outdoors Physical Environment Cont.: The building further invites students to learn from the surrounding outdoor environment by providing operable glazed systems in each community that literally blurs the line between indoors and outdoors. The building's layout not only creates independent team areas, but also provides clearly defined, supervisable and logical internal circulation paths throughout the facility.
Main Entry Planning Process: Highline School District was facing tight budgets and shrinking enrollment leading to the decision to combine Valley View Elementary and Bow Lake Elementary. Each school represented to a unique student body. Bow Lake was home to mostly lower income students, as well as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, and English Language Learning Center representing 66 languages. Valley View served predominantly upper middle class students and housed the District’s Highly Capable Program.
Administration Waiting Area Planning Process Cont.: Designing Bow Lake Elementary School brought together these two diverse communities of students, teachers, and learning styles. Through numerous planning and design meetings with teachers, staff and parents from both schools, new community was formed and a unified goal for the new school emerged. Constant school and district involvement during the design phase helped eradicate any feelings of turf wars. Because of collaborative planning and design meetings, the staff from each school had a large voice in the design of Bow Lake. The design was shaped by the voice of everyone involved, and the students and faculty from both schools ultimately embraced the consolidation.