Next week 400 students in West Seattle head to their brand new, state-of-the-art school.
Students at Arbor Heights Elementary have been using a temporary site the past two years.
Arbor Heights’ campus includes a lot of reclaimed wood elements in a design that aims to bring the outdoors inside. The elementary school is an E-STEM school (environment, science, technology, engineering, and math) and there are small engineering lessons all around campus.
“That’s a teaching tool,” said Tim Ausink, construction manager with Heery International, as he pointed to an ‘X’ on the cafeteria’s wall.
“That’s actually called a brace frame and it’s part of the structure that helps hold up the building,” he said about the exposed brace.
Even in the art lab there are similar features.
“All of these smaller pipes going down into the wall are electrical conduit,” Ausink pointed out. He added the sewer pipes and data cabling for Wi-Fi are also exposed.
“It’s a little weird cause in other buildings I haven’t seen the wires so close down,” said soon-to-be 4th grader Charlotte. “Usually I’ve imagined them just up in the ceiling or in the walls or something.”
Charlotte said she likes that the building is more spacious than the previous campus, which Charlotte called “really, really old”.
The school’s price tag is almost $43 million. It was paid for through the BEX IV levy and can fit 660 students when at capacity.