In 2001, Foss High School received a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. This honor, coupled with money made available through a bond proposed in Tacoma, set the school on the course of an extensive renovation and program upgrade aimed at providing 21st-century facilities for Foss students, staff and community members.
The 1873 building was outdated. The CAPACITY1,800COST PER SQ FT$90.56FEATURED IN2007 Architectural Portfolio brick mass of the structure failed to convey a vital identity, and the open-plan concept on which the design was based did not support today’s dynamic teaching methods. The renovation and expansion program focuses on transforming the building’s entire essence—from a substantial upgrade to systems operations and program needs, to a dramatic transformation of the building’s architectural identity.
The project added 20 new classrooms, upgraded science labs, expanded the gymnasium and support spaces, removed hazardous materials and replaced the building’s mechanical, plumbing and lighting systems.
The design dramatically transformed the facility’s character and created a reinvigorated sense of place for the school community.