Fort Washakie campus plan includes outdoor learning and cultural practice space
Fort Washakie, WY – June 10, 2014 – Dedicated space for cultural activities for the predominantly Native American Fort Washakie school population is an important part of Jackson Hole firm Ward + Blake Architects’ design for the pre-K through 12th-grade campus to be built in Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Ward + Blake is the lead, in association with veteran school design specialists Fanning/Howey Associates, on the $50 million project in the town named for the Shoshone Chief Washakie, who championed education.
The Ward + Blake and Fanning/Howey team recently submitted preliminary design schematics for the proposed 190,000-square-foot elementary and high school complex, which will provide classroom, recreational, and extracurricular space for approximately 800 students in two buildings. In addition to approximately 4,000 square feet of space dedicated for cultural activities such as traditional language and dance practice, the design includes outdoor classroom space to create an environment for non-traditional learning opportunities. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.
“We have submitted schematic designs that we believe meet the school board’s desires and objectives for this ambitious project,” says Ward + Blake Principal Mitch Blake. “Now we will wait for the state’s approval and hopefully move forward with design drawings.” An earlier three-day charette brought the design team together with stakeholders to help determine goals and needs for the project.
Fort Washakie is located at the confluence of the South and North Forks of the Little Wind River and is named for Shoshone Chief Washakie, namesake for the historic military Fort Washakie. Chief Washakie was known as a great supporter of education, and his policies figured into the first school at Fort Washakie being established as part of the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868.
Ward + Blake’s other notable education projects include the LEED Gold-certified Teton County Children’s Learning Center – “the Ranch” in Jackson Hole, Wyo., built in conjunction with early education architecture specialists D.W. Arthur Associates and short-listed in the schools category of the 2012 World Architectural Festival in Singapore, as well as the St. Johns Medical Center Children’s Learning Center, which is still in planning stages. A recently opened Teton County School District Central Administration Office designed by the firm received special funding from the Jackson Hole energy sustainability project Energy Works.
Ward + Blake has a successful history of creating architecture that’s sensitive to a site’s environmental, cultural and historical cues, winning the firm numerous awards and honors including being named 2013 Firm of the Year by the six-state AIA Western Mountain Region. A recent monograph, In the Shadows of the Tetons: Selected Works of Ward + Blake Architects, provides an overview of the firm’s award-winning work. For more information, visit the Ward + Blake Architects website at www.wardblakearchitects.com.
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