Birney Elementary School

Pre-K/Elementary School

The new 1-story Birney Elementary School will be located on the southwest portion of the 8.68-acre property. The new school building will house Pre-K through 5th grades, including the regional deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) program. It will be approximately 60,000 square feet in area with a capacity of 550 students.

Site improvements will include upgrading the existing vehicular circulation by separating parent and bus loading locations. Outdoor play areas will be located on the north end of the property and will consist of hard surface play areas, a repurposed covered play structure, soft surface play with play equipment, and play fields. New site amenities, including pedestrian plazas, play equipment, seat walls, play field, bicycle parking, and landscaping are designed to fit the context of the existing neighborhood.

The proposed Birney Elementary School, is designed to enhance the existing DHH program and to be a community resource. The building is organized by a north-south circulation space, termed as the “Marketplace”, containing the public amenities of the school and specialized learning opportunities. Four classroom wings tie into the Marketplace and create small exterior courtyard areas that provide opportunities for outdoor learning.

The building’s infrastructure and systems are designed with energy efficiency as a priority. The design team is using the framework established by the AIA 2030 energy challenge as a goal for the project. This program has been established such that all new buildings shall be carbon neutral by 2030. The site-specific goal for the project is an EUI (Energy Use Index) of 22.5, the Design Development design is modeled at an EUI of 23.5. Additional detail is provided within, including options to further reduce the EUI.

Client: Tacoma Public Schools

Location: Tacoma, WA

Size: 60,000 s.f.