Posted by Debra Stenberg on 1/16/2014

April, 2014:

SRG Partnership architecture firm has been hard at work refining the internal layout and  distinctive look that will define Federal Way High School for the coming century. A member of the architectural team recently wrote a warm and insightful blog regarding her experience in working with the staff and students of Federal Way High School.

On March 19, 2014, lead architects from SRG led the fourth in a series of community open houses to share refinements to the design and plans for providing instructional space while construction is under way.  Community comments were encouraged.

SRG’s PowerPoint slideshow shared with the Board of Directors in January, 2014, provides a short tour of Federal Way High School, inside and out.  While these are rough conceptual renderings, they give a sense of how the new Federal Way High School will appear.

The Curriculum Committee continued its work begun over the summer.

January, 2014: Board work study and regular board meeting

The architects refined the look of the new school building further to present to the board at the January 7th work study at the ESC, 33330 8th Ave. South, Federal Way, WA. With their approval to proceed, the process of developing detailed plans and seeking permits has continued moving forward.

October, 2013:

On October 9, lead architects from SRG led the third in a series of community open houses to share concepts and information gathered to date, and to hear community input.

Then, in a presentation to the Federal Way Board of Directors later in October, architect Barney Mansavage shared the common themes that emerged from community meetings to date:

  • Make a place – design a campus, not just a school
  • Develop a site that provides security and safety, visibility to the community, planning with existing natural features, and for the future.

Mansavage provided a look at the basic 3-dimensional footprint of the school as well as photos offering a glimpse at the kind of campus environment that they aspire to create.  

September 2013: Curriculum Committee

What will high school programs look like in the coming decades? Since last spring, a group of district staff and students — along with community, higher education and corporate leaders — have been meeting to talk about that very question. This group, the Federal Way High School curriculum committee, soon became deeply involved in researching high school programs around the nation.

But before they did that, they made sure they had a common understanding of the culture and demographics of Federal Way High School today. They wanted to capture the heartbeat of the school, said Executive Director of Secondary Education Vince Blauser — because equally important to looking at new programs is understanding what makes the school special today, and holding onto and building on that, he added.

The committee has broken into subgroups focused on specific areas that address 21st Century learning expectations. What they learn will help inform the design of the new FWHS interior configuration. They’ll also contribute to the development and implementation of a short-term/long-term plan that addresses all building and physical plant needs to ensure delivery of programs/curriculum.

October 2013: Board Presentations

September 2013: Building Footprint

The Superintendent’s recommendation is to build the new school in the southeast corner of the campus. The building footprint is shown in brown:

Campus layout

April 2013: Site Selection

SRG, the architectural firm that has led the research and early planning for the new Federal Way High School, presented the superintendent’s recommendation for the site of the new Federal Way High School to the school board on April 9, 2013. That recommendation is to build the school in the southeast corner of the current Federal Way High School campus, and the board gave their unanimous support in the form of a resolution passed at that board meeting.

This recommendation came after careful consideration of staff, student and community input at several community listening sessions. Using what they heard at those sessions, SRG developed criteria to guide the site selection. A major directive was to design not just a school, but a campus.

The criteria also included selecting a site that allows:

  • Security and safety
  • Visibility to the community
  • Clear hierarchy of site organization
  • Planning with existing natural features
  • Planning for the future

Using these criteria and working with district staff, the architects reconsidered the three previously-identified potential sites for the new building on the Federal Way High School campus. They concluded the site that best met these criteria is the southeast corner, with the main entrance facing west toward Memorial Field. “This site clearly stood out as the number one choice,” SRG Principal Architect Jane Hendricks. “We were delighted to hear in a lot of the public comment we got that it was really important for Federal Way High School to have a face and a front on Pacific Highway.”

Staff and architects also enlisted FWHS community members to get their feedback on the site recommendation.  On April 2, a group of 15 people met with the architecture team. They included FWHS staff members, students and parents of students, a city representative, district security and Federal Way police, a historical society member, and interested community members. They also gave unanimous support to this site recommendation.

February 2013: Site Selection

Architects who did the early planning for the FWHS rebuild recommended three potential sites on Federal Way High School property for the new building. Read more »

A community input session on January 31, 2013, attracted about 100 attendees. Information boards and interactive models gave participants a chance to learn about the three possible sites. Architects and district personnel were on hand to answer questions and listen to input. This input will help form Superintendent Rob Neu’s recommendation to the School Board for the location of the new building. The site decision is scheduled to be made this spring, which will allow the district to do critical groundwork this summer to move the project along.