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Illahee Middle School Groundbreaking Celebration

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Illahee Middle School Groundbreaking Celebration
Illahee Groundbreaking Ceremony

Federal Way Public Schools held a groundbreaking celebration for the brand-new Illahee Middle School on Thursday, June 15, 2023, to mark the start of construction on its new and improved building.

The current Illahee Middle School was originally built in 1971 and is the last of eight aging FWPS schools to be rebuilt under the phase 2 school construction bond. Completely rebuilding the school will address overcrowding and deteriorating facilities, among other things. During construction, scholars and staff will move to a temporary offsite location to await the new school, estimated to be completed after winter break in 2025.

The event featured remarks by superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer, board president Trudy Davis, Illahee principal Brianna Ward, and Illahee scholars, Magaly and Nikol. Illahee’s enthusiastic mascot Royal also made a debut appearance, greeting guests and participating in the afternoon’s activities. The formal program ended with participants breaking ground, joined by elected officials, construction team members, and Illahee scholars and staff.

Following the program, guests had the chance to view architectural renderings, a 3D video of the building concept, and interior and exterior building materials and finishes. Members of the design-build team from Bassetti Architects and FORMA Construction were also present to answer questions about the project.

“There has been so much attention to detail in the design of the new Illahee building, from the modern classrooms to the collaborative spaces scholars will soon enjoy. I’m confident it will support academic exploration and success,” shared Superintendent Dr. Pfeiffer. “Plus, the building will also pay homage to its previous campus through the brickwork detail, expansive athletic capacity, and more – all surrounded by lush and mature landscaping.”

“This opportunity to rebuild Illahee Middle School was only made possible by the investment of our community,” she continued. “We are so thankful to voters who continue to support our scholars.”

Campus features include:

  • Connection to Nature
    Scholars will enjoy biophilic design incorporated throughout, exterior learning and athletic courtyards, and prominent views of nature.
  • Improved Security
    The new school facility will include enhanced security features, including a fully enclosed perimeter, additional security cameras, and a secure welcome entry vestibule which connects to the main office.
  • Deliberate Tree Preservation
    The new campus design incorporates much of the campus’ mature tree landscaping and preserves as many trees as possible.
  • Improved Traffic Flow
    Separate bus loop and parent drop-off areas to reduce congestion and improve safety.

Scholars and the neighboring community can look forward to a state-of-the-art building that keeps the outdoors close and keeps academics, school pride, and athletics at the forefront.