Reimagining King Elementary

Following a May 18 symposium to gather ideas for a new King Elementary that would help the school overcome its facility-related challenges, planning teams of staff members and architects translated the key themes into architectural concepts and designs. On May 20, they unveiled three concepts for a new, larger school.

The following illustrations are artistic conceptual drawings only. They do not reflect final school design plans.

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

Those words, spoken by Martin Luther King Jr., resonate with the King staff. The time is now. The staff shares a responsibility to engage, teach and embrace every student and every family, as well as open the school’s doors to the community as a whole. Together, the opportunities are limitless.

This design celebrates and values education and family involvement, recognizing that everyone has a right to an education that fosters strengths and different learning styles to prepare for lifelong learning.

The community hub concept facilitates learning through nature, movement, makerspaces, a three-level media center, grade-level co-ops, the arts, extended learning opportunities, onsite childcare, preschool and an inviting Family-Community Resource Center.

The staff believes that “we may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Let the journey begin.

Download and view Concept 1 as a PDF.

  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • king, bond, construction, concept, re
  • king, bond, construction, concept, re

King honors diversity while embracing not only the individual, but also the interdependence of the school’s community. Using technology and natural resources, this design embraces the whole family: parents, students and community members.

Inside the school is an innovative space where inquiry and project-based learning take place in multi-age groupings. Natural light permeates an open-air conservatory. At a world market where student work is on display, students can interact with the community. A Family-Community Resource Center/early learning wing features a kitchen, classroom and family studio. Quiet learning perches are available and classrooms may have walls that open to infuse nature in learning. Adjacent to the classrooms are studios for exploratory learning, a media center and garden spaces. On the second floor are a community studio, rooftop deck and gardens.

Outside the building is a public natural amphitheater. The property also features a nature trail, natural play structures, basketball courts, soccer fields and a pocket park.

Download and view Concept 2 as a PDF.

  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • king, bond, construction, concept, re
  • king, bond, construction, concept, re

A university campus is the inspiration for this concept, wherein community connections are strong and students and families are exposed to schools of learning that offer practical experiences and prepare children for college and careers. These schools include:

  • School of culinary arts featuring a state-of-the-art kitchen and garden that are open to students, families and community members
  • School of wellness with a gymnasium with retractable seating, indoor track and clinic
  • School of performing arts offering a dance studio, visual arts, music rooms, a choir space and an outdoor amphitheater
  • School of science and engineering allowing students to study virtual learning, robotics, coding and the sciences, as well as work in an outdoor greenhouse
  • School of communications facilitating the study of social media, radio, TV and print journalism and audio/video production
  • School of cultural studies honoring King’s diversity through language, history and global studies
  • Birth-to-age-5 facility with a Family-Community Resource Center and spaces for volunteering, child care and adult education

Download and view Concept 3 as a PDF.

  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools
  • King, project school, bond, construction, reimagine, re: schools

The planning team presented their ideas to the school’s staff and the community to gather additional feedback. An extensive review and planning will assess feasibility and affordability and hone the concepts into more detailed plans. To stay up to date with the latest King information, subscribe to the Re: Schools e-newsletter.

Want to comment on the three design concepts? Take a short survey to provide your feedback.

Proposed funding

In March 2015, the district conducted an informal online survey about facility needs. More than 1,500 respondents—parents, students, staff members and the community—told VPS how its buildings and properties could be improved and suggested schools that should be rebuilt. Ongoing symposia and staff, parent and community presentations are providing input on school designs. This input helps district leaders assess facilities needs and plan for the future.

Many VPS schools are slated to be rebuilt or significantly renovated. Every other VPS school will receive upgrades.

Proposed funding for the work is a bond measure that could be on the ballot in February 2017. However, the district’s board of directors must first approve the measure before it can appear on the ballot.

The community last approved a VPS bond measure in 2001. That bond helped replace or build Eisenhower, Franklin, Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Sarah J. Anderson and Washington elementary schools and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.