As the students travel from class to class at the new Hazel Wolf K-8 School, they are embraced by opportunities to learn. The living wall of plants is cared for and studied, the staircase demonstrates the mathematical equations involved in the building's design, and the outdoor teaching spaces are designed as an outdoor learning lab - all examples of teaching moments.
The school is comprised of classrooms and core facilities, including a library, computer lab, music room and stage, science and art rooms, kitchen, student dining and commons, gymnasium and open learning areas. The building serves student in Kindergarten through 8th grade and is essentially two schools; an elementary and middle school. Heery worked with the District on education specifications for both elementary and middle school programming and defined the appropriate spaces for the K-8 model for the Hazel Wolf School.
The outdoor teaching space utilizes one of the Pacific Northwest’s greatest resources RAIN water. The science teachers worked with the project team to create “sit spots” where students can experience nature observation as field trips - allowing students to have self-directed learning and confirming research. The rain water onsite gets collected into the central courtyard’s rain garden that is filled with native plants. The rain gardens provide an area for rain water to reach the soil and be absorbed and filtered before flowing into local streams, lakes or groundwater.
The various examples of sustainability also offer teaching moments for example; the highly-efficient building envelope design, daylight response controls, heat recovery and a ground loop heat pump system. Energy monitoring displays and each of the sustainable features of the building will be used to create student awareness.
The involvement and input from the teachers, principals, district staff, and community provided the project team valuable insight into creating a learning environment with hands-on experiences. The surrounding neighborhood lent their support to the new school, which also offers an Interpretive Garden on the Northwest corner of the site for the local community.
Hazel Wolf K-8 School is part of the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence Program IV a six-year, $694.9 million Capital Levy passed by voters in February 2013. The new school was built on the site of the previous Pinehurst School (built in 1950) and, at 83,000 square feet, accommodates up to 680 students. The new school welcomed students to their first class in September 2016. Heery served as the Program Manager from design to complete construction, working alongside all of the stakeholders in the process.