Mount Rainier High School
Noise disruption is a familiar problem for any secondary school teacher, but for the previous educators at Mount Rainier High School, it wasnt superfluous classroom chatter that made learning difficult for students: it was the shrieking wail of aircraft taking off from Sea-Tac Airport.
The original Mount Rainier High School was built in 1957 and after almost a half century of use, it required extensive maintenance, updated and improved educational facilities and, of course, relief from 747 noise. To facilitate a better learning environment, Highline School District decided to demolish the old facility and build a more usable and acoustically friendly school building.
Because Mount Rainier High School is going to be a large secondary school with 1,500 students, the building was designed with the idea of housing several schools within a school in order to provide a personalized learning environment. To achieve this, the 205,000-square-foot building will have two L-shaped classroom wings, with each two-story wing housing two independent learning communities.
Each learning community will be comprised of eight general classrooms, two science classrooms/labs, a resource classroom, a technology lab and staff team rooms and offices.
New common use facilities, such as the gymnasium and other physical education areas are being constructed, as well as a new arts and technology area, which will include a wood technology shop, a material science lab, a CAD lab, three art classrooms and rehearsal space for the band and choir.
The new school will take advantage of its natural surroundings with a commons area that has a view of Mt. Rainier. The commons will act as a cafeteria, a space for public meetings and as an informal student gathering place.
The building will have several sustainability features: lots of day lighting; green building materials; occupancy controlled lighting and HVAC; water conservation; energy-efficient windows; and a mechanical system designed to pre-filter air.
Address: 22450 19th Ave. S., Des Moines
Cost: $47.96 million (award amount)
Type of contract: Hard bid
Start of construction: July 2005
Expected completion date: Fall 2007
Owner: Highline School District No. 401
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