The Lake Washington School District broke ground on the new Robert Frost Elementary School in the Kingsgate area of Kirkland on June 11. The school will replace the existing elementary as part of the District’s modernization program.
The program began with Phase 1 in 1998, which updated 11 schools. Frost will be the first school to be modernized in Phase 2. Rachel Carson Elementary, a new school in Sammamish, was the first school built in this phase during this second phase. Voters approved $436 million in bonds in 2006 to pay for the program.
Planning and design for the new elementary began in spring 2006, soon after the bond measure was passed.
Architecture design studio Meng Strazarra created the plans for the building, which was developed using the district’s educational specifications and the Frost community’s input as a main criteria. Principal Sue Anne Sullivan, staff, parents and neighbors worked with district facilities staff to provide that direction.
The building and its grounds will contain references to Frost’s poems. For example, the building will be tied to the poet’s life and work through items such as the birch trees, which will be part of the landscaping in honor of his poem, “Birches.” Artwork commissioned for the interior will be based on a butterfly theme in respect to Frost’s poem, “My Butterfly.”
The new school will be built on the same site as the old Frost Elementary, behind the old building. Students will occupy the old building through the 2008-09 school year.
The new school is expected to open in the fall of 2009.