- LOCATION: Ridgefield, WA
- COMPLETED: 2018
The City of Ridgefield is one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Washington. Because of that, their current schools are becoming overcrowded and over-capacity by at least 130 students at each school. One of the biggest needs in the district is a new middle school. LSW is working with the District on the design of a 145,000 sq ft facility that will house two distinct schools – an intermediate school for grades 5-6 and a middle school for grades 7-8 – with shared core spaces.
Built to accommodate 1200 students, the new two-level school has space for 44 regular classroom spaces; a dedicated STEAM wing (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math); band and choir rooms plus a black box space; two gymnasiums; a multi-purpose space to be shared with the high school athletics programs; and a large commons that can be converted into a performance space. Key aspects of the design were flexibility of spaces, safety and security for students and staff, ease of maintenance, energy efficiency in materials and overall building operations, providing spaces that support both teaching and learning.
The school’s layout is very intentional, taking into consideration the site conditions and features. The STEAM and Arts programs are important parts of the District’s vision and have been located at the front of the school as featured and celebrated components. The classroom wings are located to the South to maximize daylight. Connecting the two are the commons and the media center, facilitating easy access and giving students from the two schools a place to come together and interact. One of the major site features is a wetlands area. Rather than viewing the wetlands as a limiting site factor, the design team chose to celebrate it as a learning opportunity, creating access and views through open courtyards. Another key element of the site is the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex. Developed in partnership with the City of Ridgefield and the Ridgefield School District, the complex provides expanded athletic field offerings and space for parking for use by the District and the community.