An Enhanced Learning Atmosphere

Excelsior High School

Excelsior Elementary Hero

Overview

The Excelsior school offers a dynamic curriculum and vibrant atmosphere for students who learn better outside of the traditional school environment. The program includes a large commons area, classrooms, conference areas, an instructional kitchen, and an administration zone. 

Key Stats

Square Footage

11,300

Completion

2017

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Context

Formerly housed in portable buildings adjacent to Washougal High School, the new 11,300 sf building provides a permanent learning space for up to 90 students and three staff members. Sitting atop a hill, the new building also provides additional learning and meeting space for the district. 

Excelsior Exterior

Design

A two-story glass curtain wall topped with a wood-accented awning creates a striking exterior for the Excelsior Programs at Washougal High School. With lots of natural light and earthy textures inspired by the Pacific Northwest, Excelsior is designed to be a vibrant, inviting space where education and practical experience come together. The large commons area is a focal point on campus and was designed with community events and student presentations in mind. The wood roof structure is exposed, bringing an element of warmth to the space. Large windows with seating on the south wall highlight views and provide places for students to study and socialize. 

Light and heat streaming in the south-facing curtain wall and other large windows are detected by sensors that automatically adjust the lighting and temperature in the building. The building’s largest room is a common area with exposed laminated wooden beams and tongue-and-groove wooden decking lining the tall ceiling.

Adjacent to the commons is the instructional kitchen, which serves as a utilitarian, relaxed and comfortable space to learn. A café island provides an additional area for gathering and education. A light-filled corridor leads to the classrooms and a covered outdoor educational area that includes planter boxes for gardening and a small greenhouse.