Breaking new ground in Renton, the Renton School District’s newest elementary school features an efficient mass timber system. In a collaborative effort between the design team, the district, and the jurisdiction, Renton School District is among the first school districts to implement this environmentally conscious method of building. Classroom wings feature cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels supported by glulam beams and columns, providing a rich and warm learning environment.
Not only does mass timber align with the district’s desire to encourage sustainable construction strategies, but the benefits to students’ well-being is becoming increasingly apparent. Learning environments utilizing natural daylight, views of nature, and exposed wood have been proven to decrease stress levels and improve performance and productivity.
Built to accommodate growth and over-enrollment at their nearby existing elementary schools, the school consists of 32 classrooms, associated administration, and instructional support spaces on an 11.17 acre site. The new campus serves up to 600 students in kindergarten through 5th grade, in approximately 77,000 square feet.
Hilltop Heritage Elementary places a high importance on providing a flexible and adaptable facility that is resilient to changing curriculum and population needs. This flexibility permeates the design in order to provide the district with a facility that is resilient to curriculum and technology advancement, in addition to student population fluctuations. The school welcomed students and opened in the fall of 2023.