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December 20, 2021
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
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