- LOCATION: Ridgefield, WA
- COMPLETED: 2014
A $49 million bond passed in February 2012 provided funds for new educational facilities to supplement the existing buildings at each of Ridgefield School District’s campuses. The new 20,000 sq ft building at South Ridge Elementary School includes six classrooms, group learning/project spaces, and a commons.
The additions at South Ridge and Union Ridge elementary schools use similar floor plan concepts, but each building is given its own unique attributes. Located on a rural site with 40 acres of mostly forested setting, it was important to enhance the indoor/outdoor connection within the new building at South Ridge Elementary School. In the classrooms, large corner windows with sunshades provide natural light and enhance the learning environment for students by offering great views of the surrounding site. Colored glass panels in the exterior windows correspond to paint colors at each classroom entry to help students identify their classroom. A co-operative learning space in the middle of the classroom wing has a skylight to provide natural daylight to the internal learning spaces. The co-op is connected to the learning lab, another group learning area with a glass roll-up door that facilitates indoor/outdoor educational opportunities. The school meets the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol (WSSP).
The building also include a commons with a music room, stage for school and community presentations, and a kitchen for meal preparation and distribution. The floor plan was designed to allow future expansion for the school. For example, a gymnasium can be added to the commons to create a similar space as is present at Union Ridge Elementary School. Also, the main entry is intended to be the central circulation spine for future renovations; it can be extended and additional classroom wings can be constructed.