Sehome High School

  • Location Sehome, WA
  • Owner Bellingham Public Schools
  • Teamwork for the Win

    Using two types of materials was the right choice for the client and the design team.

  • No Skipping School

    New high school constructed while the existing facility remained in use.

It takes two… kinds of framing. Bellingham Public Schools needed to replace the existing Sehome High School, which was built in 1966. Reid Middleton was the structural engineer for the design of a new, 184,000 SF high school building. The design used wood framing for the classroom wing and structural steel framing for the commons, gym, performing arts space, band room, counseling, and administration areas. Designs using all steel or all wood were developed, however the dual-material approach provided the right mix of cost and flexibility. The structural steel framing uses buckling restrained braced frames to achieve very high seismic performance, constructability, and reasonable cost. The design was laid out to be constructed on the athletic fields of the existing high school, allowing the new school to be completed before the existing school was demolished.