Lake Washington High School had been a proud community institution for nearly 60 years when the District concluded that the aging facility and educational delivery within had not evolved to support learning for the 21st century. Research and community based planning called for interdisciplinary teaching to provide greater relevance for students and more intimate groups of teachers and students to foster deeper engagement. To support these initiatives a new Lake Washington High School was built on site to replace the former school.
In the new 214,000 s.f. building there are five multi-grade, multi-discipline learning communities serving 1,350 students. Each “House” features six core-subject classrooms, two science rooms, and two electives classrooms. The core classroom area is organized around a shared activity space where students can make presentations, work in groups or independently.
While the formation of small learning communities was key to the future educational environment, the community at large did not want to lose the sense of the “whole” Lake Washington High School, the proud history it represented and the prominent role it played in the Kirkland community. The Commons and Library form the heart of the building, bringing the school together and welcoming the community in.