McCarver Elementary School Historical Modernization

Tacoma, Washington


DLR Group


Tacoma School District No. 10


80,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Constructed in 1925 and listed on historic registers, McCarver Elementary School has a legacy of leadership in educational practice. Serving a population of 450 students with one of the highest rates of poverty and homelessness in Washington, McCarver partners with community organizations to provide whole-family services within the school to support better student outcomes.
McCarver is the first project in the district’s robust, progressive, learner-centered vision for elementary education.
The modernization sought to blend a new vision for next-generation learning with a historic building by focusing on student ownership and a sense of belonging.
At the heart of the building, McCarver Square serves as the community centerpiece. By reconnecting to natural light and providing transparency to diverse, multilevel learning environments, McCarver Square promotes shared learning and community-focused activities in support of an International Baccalaureate curriculum.
The facility received significant energy-efficiency enhancements, seismic reinforcements, acccessibility improvements, and safety upgrades that will ensure the school’s durability for generations.

Additional Information

Cost per Sq Ft



Gold Citation

Featured in

2018 Educational Interiors Showcase

Interior category

Historic Preservation

Product suppliers specified

Lighting & Accessories by Cree, Inc.
Lighting & Accessories by Lithonia Lighting
Washroom Accessories by Bobrick
Washroom Fixtures by Sloan Valve
Washroom Fixtures by Kohler
Whiteboards / Markerboards / Chalkboards by Claridge
Carpet by Tandus
Flooring by Johnsonite
Flooring by Mondo USA
Ceilings by Armstrong World Industries
Ceramic Tile by Dal-Tile
Door Hardware by ASSA ABLOY
Doors by VT Industries
Elevators by ThyssenKrupp Access
Insulation by Owens Corning
Paint/Wallcoverings by Rodda Paint
Plumbing by Chicago Faucets
Roofing by Soprema
Skylights by VELUX
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