Rainier Beach High School

In March 2018, the Washington Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) hosted a Day of Service for Rainier Beach High School instead of their typical monthly site tour or guest speaker. Rainier Beach prides itself on its student diversity, international baccalaureate programs, career tech programs, arts and athletics. The A4LE Day of Service worked to better align these academic priorities to their school environments.

School Pride Meets Community Connectivity

For the day of service, there were three areas of focus: the main entryway, the courtyard and the entrance to the gymnasium.

The main entryway received new concrete retaining walls, a gravel walkway, new landscaping and viking-blue benches for students to enjoy before and after school hours.

The courtyard was once a place where students studied and gardens thrived, but due to changing budget priorities, had become overgrown and dysfunctional. Eight raised garden beds were removed, permanent garden beds were weeded, the school’s Viking logo was artfully painted on the cement, and tables and seats were placed throughout the courtyard. The courtyard is now a hub for students to congregate for study sessions or to have lunch together.

Previously a place to pass through, the gymnasium entryway is now a place where students want to spend time. Matt Chambers, Shaw Contract account manager and A4LE board member, worked with Bassetti Architects to connect the entryway flooring to representing Rainier Beach’s student diversity and athleticism. Walk-off tile, LVT and carpet tile work together to represent Viking pride while also creating spaces for students to gather.

Within the gymnasium entryway, students stenciled and painted a flag mural to celebrate the breadth of nationalities represented in the student body. “The use of a reclaimed gym floor as an accent wall gave a nod to the athletics, and brought warmth and color into a space,” noted Matt Chambers.

Spirit Meets Service

A4LE had 135 volunteers at the Day of Service. Many volunteers commented on how proud they felt to participate and that it meant so much more than writing a check. Due to the success of the Day of Service, it will now be an annual event to give back to different schools around the Seattle community.

“Students and teachers feel a sense of pride with the improvements made to their school. It was designed with thought and intention – just for them. The students can now walk the halls and feel a stronger sense of ownership,” said Amanda Clausen, A4LE member. This Day of Service was a large step in bringing Rainier Beach the environment students and teachers yearned for, while bringing the A4LE community together to make a positive, tangible impact.

“After the Rainier Beach High School A4LE day of service, I felt a surge of student pride. It restored my belief that the community still cares about Rainier Beach High School and the state of our students learning spaces.”



Seattle, Washington, USA

Design Firm

Bassetti Architects


  • K-12
  • Collection

    Mindful Play
    Virtual Spaces
    Color At Work

    Products Used

    inspire lvt
    hype tile
    saturate tile

    Case Study