Chief Leschi School, Puyallup Tribe of Indians

1996

Chief Leschi School consists of a new 200,000 SF K-12 school for 1,077 students including academic, natatorium and auditorium facilities.  The circular site layout is sacred to the tribes. Building shapes, orientation of structures relative to Mt. Rainier, and other natural features, material selections and color schemes, reflect the site’s importance. The primary structural system is steel braced-frame construction with masonry walls in the gymnasium and performing arts center. The building is constructed on eight feet of structural fill with grade beam foundations and structural concrete slab on grade to minimize the potential effects of liquefaction in the event of a major earthquake. Exposed three-dimensional wood trusses march through the entry and offer a modern take on the traditional longhouse form.