Construction Zone: A great view

Rosa Parks Elementary School, Redmond, Wash., is a 65,000-square-foot facility that includes three wings of classrooms featuring abundant daylighting and views into open courtyards between the wings. A two-story gallery connects the three wings, and two are linked by a sky bridge that looks down into the commons.

Designed to accommodate up to 550 students, the building has 24 standard classrooms, five shared instructional spaces, two shared resource rooms for art and music, and four rooms for kindergarten. The first wing houses kindergarten to second grade, the second houses grades 3 and 4, and the third houses grades 5 and 6.

Sustainable features include operable windows, wooden wall panels, recyclable classroom carpet tiles, polished concrete floors and rubber flooring in resource areas that can be cleaned easily. Non-toxic paints were used throughout.

The school is connected to nearby homes by a series of walking and bicycle trails. Every day, volunteers meet students at set times and at designated points along the trails for a “walking bus” trip to school. Students can join at the starting points or anywhere along the route.

The architect is Mahlum Architects (Seattle).

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