Garfield Elementary School

Pre-K/Elementary School

This GC/CM project included 16,000 s.f. of new construction to replace the gym, multipurpose room, and kitchen, and 40,000 s.f. of modernization of the 1989 school building. The revitalized Garfield Elementary reinforces the school motto of “You’re Family Here” through a design that strengthens its connections to the neighborhood, integrates diverse learning resources, enhances the natural ecology of the site, and celebrates the history of the school.

Neighborhood connections were strengthened by enhancing the Garden for the Common Good, moving the library and reception to the front of the school, and opening up more natural light & views to educational spaces.  A “Welcome Walk” leads students & visitors through the main entrance marked with circular pavers engraved in several languages, celebrating Garfield’s culture of diversity.

Shared student resource & intervention spaces are centralized into the heart of the school, and learning collaboration is encouraged in the “pods” with shared activity spaces and flexible classrooms.

The site design improved multiple existing garden spaces and added a “Primary Garden” with growing areas designated for each grade level.  Rainwater is collected from new walkway canopies into cisterns for students to water the gardens.

Client: Olympia School District

Location: Olympia, WA

Size: 40,000 s.f. modernization, 16,000 s.f. addition