The Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary School replaced an old, outdated elementary school used by approximately 390 students and 40 staff members on Bainbridge Island. The new school is a sustainable teaching environment for future generations of Bainbridge Island residents. Additionally, it demonstrates the community’s commitment to the environment, outlines their environmental initiatives, provides economic relief for operations and maintenance, and provides a place of connection for many island residents.

The Wilkes Elementary School used both the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol (WSSP) as well as the Living Building Challenge (LBC) as design guidelines to help the site and building meet the needs of occupants, while respecting the natural hydrology of the site and the water and energy needs of the neighbors. While the school did not seek to be certified under the LBC program, it sought to meet as many of the imperatives or goals as possible.

2020 ENGINEERING provided planning, design, and construction document service for the school. This included determining what type of on-site wastewater treatment and/or water reuse system was a feasible option both on a first-cost as well as long-term operations cost basis. The civil design included designing a stormwater system that maintained the hydrology to the adjacent wetlands, used pervious concrete pavement for all exposed paved areas, and infiltrated all stormwater events on-site up to and including the 100-year storm event. Portions of the stormwater system were integrated into the subgrade of the sports field. In addition, the existing school remained operational during construction, so a detailed phasing plan was required to ensure child safety and contractor maneuverability on the 9-acre site.

Mark Buehrer

Nancy Josephson Bainbridge Island School District p. 206.885.0535

Living Building Challenge
LID Site Design
On-Site Water Reuse and Wastewater Systems Study and Design