Puyallup: News

Design team gets creative for Puyallup’s newest, largest elementary school

Located on 144th Street, west of 86th Avenue Ct. E., on 17 acres of land, the Puyallup School District’s new school will have zig-zag shaped building that creates pockets of same-grade classrooms. The school will offer kindergarten through sixth grades.
Located on 144th Street, west of 86th Avenue Ct. E., on 17 acres of land, the Puyallup School District’s new school will have zig-zag shaped building that creates pockets of same-grade classrooms. The school will offer kindergarten through sixth grades. Courtesy

After months of work, a project design team is closing in on a final design for the Puyallup School District’s new elementary school

Built with 44 home rooms, the school will be one of the largest elementary schools in the state with an anticipated 1,000 students.

Comparatively, Puyallup’s current elementary schools are built for about 500 students.

44 home room classrooms

1,000 students

To accommodate the amount of students while focusing on learning, the building is shaped differently from the district’s other elementary schools, said Mario Casello, the district’s chief operations officer.

“Right from the get-go you have the creativity to design whatever it is that will fit and support teaching and learning,” Casello said. “The design of that building is going to look different than any other school we’ve ever built in Puyallup.”

Located on 144th Street, west of 86th Avenue Ct. E., on 17 acres of land, the school will have zig-zag shaped building that creates pockets of same-grade classrooms. The school will offer kindergarten through sixth grades.

“The teachers and students (of the same grades) will be able to collaborate,” Casello said.

Right from the get-go you have the creativity to design whatever it is that will fit and support teaching and learning.

Mario Casello, chief operations officer for Puyallup School District

The district tries to create this structure in every one of its schools, added Casello, but building an elementary school from scratch comes with opportunities to try new things.

The zig-zag building design stems from a “weaving through nature” concept that promotes learning and is natural to the landscape.

“We want to be able to tie nature to the building and how staff and students learn,” Casello said. “We want to capture some of the love of nature that is in that area.”

The project design team, which is made up of staff members across the district, will continue to work on the smaller details of the school’s design, down to the type of light switches used in classrooms.

Casello expects a “100-percent draft” by the end of the month, and from there the school moves to bid and the construction phase. The team is working to make sure the school opens on its scheduled date in September 2019.

The estimated cost of the new elementary school is around $40 million. The Puyallup School District was approved to build a new school in the 2015 School Construction and Facility Improvements bond. The bond also replaces Firgrove, Northwood and Sunrise elementary schools, and remodels Pope Elementary School.

For more information on the bond projects, visit puyallup.k12.wa.us.

Allison Needles: 253-256-7043, @herald_allison

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