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Blix Elementary School

1302 E. 38th St., Tacoma, WA 98404

Blix Elementary School opened its doors in September 2002, the second in a wave of new schools that have been built in the Tacoma Public Schools during the last decade. Blix’s design reflects the district’s trend toward smaller classroom communities within a greater school. This goal is achieved by organizing the design around a central corridor or “spine.”

The school stands as an impressive two-story building, which is flooded with natural light from high clerestory windows. Two classroom wings comprised of 27 individual classrooms are arranged into “neighborhood” groups, each with its own unique color and symbol scheme.

The use of prominent graphics and colors helps to stimulate imagination while providing distinction between Blix communities. The common areas of the school, the administration, library, art/science, music, stage, and multipurpose and gymnasium areas are all centrally located in the building along the central spine for ease of access and supervision. This organization emphasizes the public area of the building and allows visible connection with program spaces offering active learning opportunities.


 Project Stats


Levy issue: ​1997
Square footage:​ ​114,869
Area:​ 7.92 acres
​Capacity: ​770
​Cost: ​$25,500,990
​Scope: ​Construct new school
​Project supervisor: ​Tom Martin, Tacoma Public Schools
Completion date:​ ​August 2002
​Architect: Rasmussen Treibelhorn
​Contractor: Leo Finnegan Construction Company