Seattle Public Schools
Rainier Beach High School
Prioritizing education and low-carbon design strategies while preparing students for college, their career, and their community.
Rainier Beach High School serves one of the most diverse communities in the U.S., with more than 30 languages spoken and a 97% minority enrollment. The new high school incorporates modern learning environments and culturally responsive design to meet the diverse needs of the Seattle School District.
Surrounded by single-family homes, the school is in a low-income neighborhood where 75% of students are considered disadvantaged. The Seattle School District focused heavily on both student and community input, with the new building integrating seamlessly into the fabric of the community to serve as a beacon of opportunity.
Culturally responsive design strategies prioritize building accessibility, trauma informed design and connectivity to the neighborhood via thoughtful pedestrian circulation. Rich athletic traditions and a culture of inclusivity contribute to strong community pride and involvement in the school. The community and stakeholder engagement process prioritized amplifying community voices to create a responsive design solution that preserves the school’s historical legacy. The school was designed to target LEED Platinum certification by prioritizing low-carbon design strategies.