Helen B. Stafford Elementary School

Client Tacoma Public Schools
Type New Construction / Replacement
Grade Levels K – 5
Students 475
Area 60,962 square feet
Completed August 2005

“I am impressed with [their] willingness to do what is necessary to give the project every advantage for a successful outcome.”

Peter Wall, Former Director of Planning and Construction
Tacoma Public Schools

Helen B. Stafford Elementary School was designed and built to relieve crowding in the schools in the southern part of Tacoma School District. Special attention was given to the placement of the school to take advantage of the natural typography and preserve the existing mature oak and fir trees on the site. The school is organized around a two-story great hall. The tall library space is visible from the ground floor and upper corridors. Within the library and at other locations, partially enclosed small-group gathering spaces bring a special sense of the moment to children and staff who use them.

The library was the first K-12 library to be published in “American Libraries” magazine’s design issue for “expanding its function as a teaching and literacy center to include access to technology” for the students of Stafford.

In 2011, Stafford made the exclusive inaugural list of 22 Washington Innovative Schools as determined by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. The school was honored for providing high-quality education supported by superior technology and creating a climate in which students and families feel safe and supported.