Discovery High School

  • area / size 89,000 sqft
  • Completed 2014
  • DLR Group was tasked with completing the brand new state-of-the-art Discovery High School in Camas, Washington.

    Discovery High School is a new, ground-up facility delivering project-based learning to 9th through 12th grade students. This curriculum-based approach is new at the high school level in the Camas School District, and a continuation of the program from the project-based learning middle school, recently renovated by DLR Group. The new program centers on collaborative, integrated learning teams with a STEAM focus. Many parameters that typically define K-12 design are not in place as they would be in a new or replacement school, to best accommodate the school’s curriculum delivery. The design is based on the educational model of project-based learning, but can adapt to different educational delivery models, including traditional learning modalities, for future flexibility. To conserve energy resources and promote student and staff wellness, sustainable design features include a focus on daylighting, and natural cooling and building systems.

    This facility features flexible and adaptable learning spaces intended to provide an alternate education option for 600 students within the Camas School District. A research and development pod forms the suite of core learning spaces where 150 students spend the majority of their day. Another featured space is a Fab Lab, a crucial component for hands-on learning that includes digital controls, a fabrication area, computer lab, tools exchange, and adjacent outdoor learning. The R&D Commons embodies the culture of the school community and provides a visual connector to major learning spaces. Discovery High School is thoughtfully organized around fully equipped state-of-the-art, cost-effective, and energy-efficient systems. The building’s East-West orientation reduces sun exposure and minimizes heat gain within the building, while the building’s form capitalizes on natural daylight with appropriately placed operable windows and skylights.

    Architect: DLR Group
    Photography: Josh Partee, Alan Brandt, Lara Swimmer