Union High School

  • LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2007


Union High School was envisioned as a solution to the problem of overcrowding in school districts.  While needing to provide adequate space for a large amount of students, it was also important to preserve the small school feel.  According to recent studies, smaller, more personalized learning environments positively affect grades, test scores, attendance rates, graduation rates, drug and alcohol use, and school safety.  With this in mind, Union High School’s 48-acre campus is organized into “schools within a school”, meeting both needs.  The intra-school communities have their own culture, program, personnel, students, and spaces.

Working closely with the Gates Foundation, Evergreen Public Schools and LSW developed a progressive campus in which the students are housed in four separate buildings (communities):  School of Engineering and Environmental Sciences, School of International Studies, School of Visual and Performing Arts, and School of Leadership and Business.  Each community functions as a separate school, offering core and program-specific programs in the same building.  This allows student to have closer interaction with others in their program, advancing the learning process and creating a stronger program.  The entire campus comes together to share the centralized gymnasium, commons, auditorium, and media center.