Garfield High School

Seattle Public Schools

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project information

Historic Renovation and Addition
254,525 SF

project overview

Historic schools have a central place in the lives of their communities that is often compromised when these iconic buildings are replaced rather than preserved. Originally built in 1923, Seattle’s Garfield High School has a rich community history and was in need of significant renovation to support enrollment growth and changes to instructional methodology. With celebrity alumni including musicians Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix, and several national sports figures, the planning committee sought to preserve history, enhance the overall educational program and perpetuate Garfield’s tradition of excellence in performing arts and athletics. The design solution included a complete rehabilitation and re-organization of the three-story 170,800 square foot historic structure using a personalized learning community model. A stand-alone 83,700 square foot addition was incorporated on the school site, which houses a sophisticated 600-seat performing arts center and support spaces, and an athletic complex that includes an 1,800-seat competition gymnasium and other athletic program amenities. Historic architectural features were salvaged and repurposed to maintain the school’s character and a decades-old student signature wall in the old performance hall was photo documented and reproduced on the new stage walls.