Totem Middle School & Star Lake Elementary School

Middle School

This project includes a new middle school and elementary school on a single site with new amenities shared between the two. The new Totem MS will be 95,800 s.f. and is designed for future growth up to 800 students. The new Star Lake ES is 57,000 s.f. and is designed for future growth up to 525 students. The two schools share a family connection center, discovery lab, outdoor learning courtyard along with a few building support spaces. After hours, two separate eating areas can open into one large communal event space. The design creates three zones on the site which offer layers of choice between autonomy and collaboration. The north and south areas are independently run by each school and include parking, administration, gyms, classrooms and playground areas. The design improves safety and maintains community access.

Each school is arranged into three simple rectangular structures oriented on two perpendicular axes. The first axis connects each entry to the learning resource center. The other axis connects the entry to the commons, gym and classroom wing. Access and views to outdoor spaces are provided in the contiguous spaces between each structure. The communal learning spaces cluster are located in the center under high exposed-structure ceilings, and are filled with daylight from clerestory windows. Administration is located near the entry for supervision. The gym in located in the middle for easy access to parking and fields. The classrooms are located at the back of the school which allows them to be secured separately from the other areas of the building after hours.

Client: Federal Way Public Schools

Location: Federal Way, Washington

Size: 152,800 s.f.