After many years and an inspiring student-led outreach effort, Seaside School District successfully passed a $99.7 million bond to replace seismically vulnerable facilities and relocate the entire school population out of the tsunami zone. Currently, three of the District’s four schools are within the tsunami zone; the new campus will consolidate the entire K-12 school population onto the existing Seaside Heights Elementary School property and the adjacent land above that was donated by Weyerhaeuser. The newly acquired land encompasses 400 feet of grade change, ancient landslides, wetlands, a protected salmon habitat, and forested land on three of its sides. The nature of the site allowed our team to explore educational opportunities alongside the District and develop solutions to regionally specific design challenges.
The new Middle School/High School building will effectively bring Seaside School District’s remaining 6th – 12th grade student population together. Each student population will have their own designated wing for classrooms and athletic facilities to ensure each group of students maintains their unique identity.
Simultaneously, our design team developed shared spaces – music, dining, library, and administration – to enrich the students’ collective educational opportunities. The interim Performance Space that results from opening the dining space into the central corridor exemplifies the flexibility and multi-use nature of the design. Additional flex spaces are scattered throughout the school to further encourage collaborative learning.
The design team also took special care to tailor the nature of the building to the unique character of the coastal site. The main central volume maximizes glazing to capture views of the ocean and community of Seaside below. The building also incorporates numerous resiliency features to allow it to serve as an emergency shelter in case of a major earthquake or other natural disaster, ultimately achieving the community’s goal of providing students with a safe, functional learning environment.
Listening is one of the most important elements of our process – we can’t wait to hear from you!