Sharpstein Elementary School, Additions and Modernizations

Walla Walla , Washington

  • FIRM

    Architects West, Inc.


    Walla Walla School District

  • AREA

    32,982 sq.ft.





Sharpstein Elementary is the oldest continuously used school in Washington state. Built in 1898, the brick building is three stories. Single-story additions were added in the mid 1950s.

The community chose to preserve and protect the integrity of the building while making changes to allow the structure to serve as an effective educational facility for the next ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY450COST PER SQ FT$117.00FEATURED IN2003 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation years.

The design required demolition of the 1950 additions and the purchase of adjacent homes for additional playground and parking space. The new entry lobby encloses an elegant masonry arch that was the original back door.

The design required additions to two sides of the original structure, with two sides being preserved and untouched by new additions. The original building had a floor plan and load-bearing walls that lent themselves to creating learning neighborhoods for each grade level.

The result is effective use of a historic structure to provide for modern program-delivery methods and to allow the school to remain a viable part of the community.