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Mead Elementary School

  • Client:

    Lake Washington School District

  • Completion:


  • Location:

    Sammamish, WA

  • Type:


  • Size:

    78,000 SF

  • Construction Cost:



Completed in 2019, Margaret Mead Elementary School is a 78,000 SF replacement of an existing school designed to serve 690 students. Originally spread out among multiple buildings, the new Mead Elementary brings the entire school under one roof, facilitating enhanced safety and improved learning.


With the desire to preserve site geography and not encroach on wetland buffer, the school was designed with a compact 3-story scheme. The 16-acre site sits in a residential neighborhood, with two boundaries immediately bordering established homes, and one boundary up against East Sammamish Park. The massing, modulation, silhouette and scaling elements soften the expressions to a compatible fit in this neighborhood.


Mead Elementary School houses 30 standard classrooms in addition to music, art, science, and special education rooms. The cafeteria and commons serve as the central hub of the school with a connection to the gymnasium.


Learning settings were designed to provide maximum visibility. Secure, contained entry systems allow administrators to view and screen visitors prior to allowing them access to the rest of the building, while also allowing for after-hours public access to community spaces. Outdoor play areas are placed to allow the best possible supervision from a single staff member while maintaining a safe separation from vehicular traffic.


The classroom wings face an existing forest and park. Learning Settings have easy access to the central second floor library and resource rooms, as well as connections to outdoor learning spaces.


An emphasis on sustainability is evident in a photovoltaic array on the roof together with ground source geo-exchange systems. Enhanced insulation of the walls and roof and LED lighting add to the energy-saving approach. Pervious paving and on-site detention aide the conservation of stormwater. The majority of existing trees were preserved and native and drought-resistant plants were used throughout the site.


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