Toledo High School Toledo School District | Toledo, WA

The Toledo High School project involved the complex modernization and partial replacement of a 1970’s facility that serves a small, tightly-knit rural community in southern Washington. Arcadis facilitated an intensive pre-design engagement and visioning process that led to a clear vision for a modern facility that will serve as the functional, educational, and symbolic heart of the community. This process bridged the gap between the desire for an all-new facility, with harsh budgetary realities, and the cultural divide between the dominant and the local Indigenous community of the Cowlitz Tribe.

The design provides for all-new, next-generation learning environments for general and inclusion-model special education programs; new secure entries and administration offices; a large flexible commons space with retractable seating and performance stage; a new library; new science labs; new and refurbished STEM labs, new commercial kitchen, and locker rooms and coaching offices that to provide maximum flexibility and safety.

The new facilities surround the existing “brick box in a field” gymnasium building to provide a contextual, northwest lodge-style facility that offers ample daylight and views into the large stands of existing trees. New outdoor learning and gathering spaces support outdoor science, art, CTE, and food programs, while providing covered venues for community concerts and public events. The phased construction required developing strong collaborative relationships between the district, school, general contractor, and numerous community stakeholders to maintain continuous school operation on site during the pandemic.

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