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December 20, 2021

River Ridge Elementary

Photos by Dale Lang/NW Architectural Photography [enlarge] [gallery]

River Ridge Elementary opened this fall on a former Nike missile battery at 22420 Military Road S. in SeaTac.

The design of the 91,661-square-foot school takes advantage of the sloping site, with classroom wings stepping down and stretching towards a dog park. This orientation provides views of Mount Rainier and the Kent Valley. Construction cost $38.8 million for the school serving up to 700 students in prekindergarten to fifth grade.

There are 30 standard classrooms, plus six more for kindergartners and two for early childhood education. Other parts of the school include a commons, gymnasium, music room, stage, open-concept library, staff lounge, administrative offices and a kitchen. There is one playfield and two playgrounds, including one specifically for kindergartners.

A geothermal exchange system keeps the building at an optimal temperature. The closed-loop/ground-source water-to-air heat pump system includes 90 vertical bores drilled 300 feet deep under the parking lot.

The missile site was thought to have provided protection for a Boeing plant in the Kent Valley — one of 291 batteries located throughout the continental U.S. during the Cold War.

Owner: Kent School District

Architect: Hutteball + Oremus Architecture

General contractor: Spee West Construction

Civil engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen

Structural engineer: PCS Structural Solutions

Mechanical engineer: Metrix Engineers

Electrical engineer: Hargis Engineers

Landscape architect: Weisman Design Group

Acoustical design: Stantec

Food service: JLR Design Group

Building envelope: Wetherholt & Associates

Do you have photos of recent projects? Share them with DJC readers. Send high-resolution images and information to lisa.lannigan@djc.com.

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