Skip to main content

John Jacob Astor Elementary School

  • Client:

    Astoria School District

  • Completion:


  • Location:

    Astoria, OR

  • Type:

    Modernization & Addition

  • Size:

    70,000 SF

  • Construction Cost:


John Jacob Astor Elementary School was built in 1925 and designed by prominent local architect, J.E. Wicks. Both the Elementary School and the “Old Gym” are designated as historic in the Adair Uppertown National Register Historic District in Astoria, Oregon. This elementary school has been featured in several prominent movies and is beloved by the community. The original elementary school is a three-story facility situated on an extremely tight and sloping site adjacent to the highly used old gym.

The primary goal for this intensive renovation project was to renovate the facility to meet the District operational requirements while maintaining the elegance of the original design and meeting the scrutiny of the Historic Landmarks Committee and local community.


Access for Everyone

We designed accessibility compliance throughout the facility, including a secured internal accessible connection from the Elementary School to the old gym. Other accessibility improvements include a renovated administration area and accessible exterior access to the old gym for off-hour and community use. There are now accessible restrooms on the lower level of the Elementary School and the old gym. 


Enhancing Sustainability

The District invested in a $1.2 million window replacement effort to improve energy efficiency of the building envelope and minimize heat gain throughout the facility. The new aluminum framed, insulated windows accommodate the original openings and reflect the historic mullion/muntin patterns as identified in various 1920’s period photos. Additional sustainability improvements include selective lighting replacement and replacement of HVAC/Kitchen equipment to high-efficiency units.


Improving Safety and Security

Security cameras, door hardware access control and door monitoring throughout the facility enhance safety and security. Additionally, a secured entry vestibule with remote monitoring allows better control visitor access and unsupervised entry.


Expanding Learning Opportunities

To support District educational goals, special education and kindergarten classrooms were added at the relocated kitchen/cafeteria area on the lower level, with the kitchen/cafeteria relocated to the fully renovated old gym building. The special education area includes sensory, quiet learning, play and calming areas. Lighting and acoustics are prominent in the design and include tunable lighting zones, controlled daylighting, sound enhancement and an acoustically enhanced calming corner.


Next Project

Ward Grover Law Firm

WardGrover_Interior14_2ndFloor_ConfRoom 1