Highline Public Schools released new information about the new north wall for Highline High Schools remodel:
What will the north wall of Highline High School (HHS) look like?
The project team has a recommendation for the school board. After several weeks of public feedback, HHS project staff, architects, contractors and district leaders have reached consensus on Design Concept 1 for the north wall of the school. The project team believes this design provides the best opportunity to reflect the historic character and essence of the original school within the taxpayer-funded budget.
Here are the reasons:
- Design Concept 1 has broad support from all stakeholder groups who provided feedback, including alumni, community members, families, staff and students.Â Concept 2 had equal support from alumni. Concept 3 had equal support from students. Half of respondents who expressed preference for either Concept 2 or 3 also noted 1 was their other choice. This demonstrates strong support for Concept 1.
- Unexpected soil and masonry conditions increased costs by several million up to $15 million for the various options, from partial preservation of the north wall to full preservation.Unlike other buildings of the same era or earlier constructed of solid masonry, the north wall of HHS is brick veneer (one brick thick) on a wood frame structure. The bond passed by voters in 2016 specified that as much of the north wall would be preserved “as is structurally and financially feasible.” Â It was determined that it is not feasible to preserve all or even a section of the north wall due to the significant risk of collapse during the process, which would waste taxpayer dollars.
- Design Concept 1 is an affordable way to preserve more of the terracotta and fascia of the main entrance. The section of the wall surrounding the main entrance in Design Concept 2 would be more expensive and impact interior walls, office and classroom design.
“We are fortunate to have strong community support for constructing a new high school that speaks to both the past and the future. We are excited to move forward with a new Highline High School that meets the safety and modern learning needs of our students, as well as retaining valuable ties to history and tradition,” said Scott Hodgins, executive director of Capital Planning & Construction.
The school board will approve the full design for Highline High School later this winter.
If approved, the Pirate stained-glass window will be preserved and as much of the terracotta surrounding the main entrance as possible. Terracotta ornamentation and some original brick will be salvaged, if possible, and used in the design of the new school. The project team has just begun to explore possibilities for including historical pieces and honoring history in the new school.
Staff and architects received feedback on the three design options for the new Highline High School north wall from hundreds of stakeholders, including alumni, staff, community residents and students.
Design feedback was gathered in the following ways:
- Capital Projects Oversight Committee, October 11
- HHS Design Review Committee, October 12 and November 30
- Ask-the-Architect Community Meeting, October 19 (approximately 50 in attendance)
- Feedback form (240 responses)
- Social media posts and comments
Another Ask-the-Architect community meeting will be scheduled for March to share further details and progress on the design of Highline High School with the community.
For more information, visit Highline’s website at highlineschools.org/keepingourpromise.