Meany Middle School

Recent Updates

Meany entrance entry

Address: 301 21st Avenue E., Seattle


Meany Middle School was originally built in 1902. Additions were added in 1907, 1941, 1945 and 1955, with the 1902 section demolished in 1962 and replaced with the two-story central core. The renovation modernized and repurposed the existing building as a middle school designed for the 21st century.


$19.3 million


This new comprehensive middle school provides classroom seating for up to 850 students in grades 6-8. It will help meet the need for additional middle school capacity for Seattle Public Schools' growing enrollment.

The reconfiguration of the 119,000-square-foot school was designed to ensure that all students are challenged and engaged, while keeping them safe socially, emotionally and academically.

While preparing to bring the school into this modern era, the Meany School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) developed values and vision to guide the renovation. The SDAT envisioned a renewed neighborhood middle school starting from the belief that the building "has good bones" and that three essential changes would allow the building to better support the educational program.


The existing building lacked an inviting central gathering space. The renovation opens the cafeteria to connect it visually to both sides of the school, and a new café area expands seating capacity. Existing clerestory windows, covered over in the 1960s, were reopened to bring natural light into the new central commons. New openings to the kitchen bring additional borrowed light from the central courtyard. The updated performing stage is equipped with sophisticated audio and visual components, and performance lighting.


A new light-colored steel canopy replaces a deep overhang at the main entrance. The new entrance reconfigures both exterior and interior spaces to provide a direct connection from the sidewalk. It brings visitors to an accessible vestibule with electronically controlled doors with school staff to controlled access. The reception desk is oriented towards large windows providing staff a clear view of approaching visitors.


A new breezeway in the courtyard between the classroom wings reduces the travel distance between classrooms. A new east-west hallway provides direct connection from the main entrance to the west side of the building, removing a major barrier to movement throughout the school.


Every classroom includes new teaching stations, and new floor and ceiling finishes, to provides a consistent experience across all of the classrooms. Structural reinforcement improved earthquake safety. A new intercom system, new fire sprinklers, and a new fire alarm system have all been installed.

Renewal and reuse of an existing building in itself is a sustainable design strategy. Building upon this existing resource, the project re-purposed salvaged wood, existing student artwork, and the James W. Washington "Obelisk" sculpture. Energy efficiency is created with new mechanical systems with heat recovery, upgrades to the building envelope, and LED light fixtures with daylight controls. Low flow plumbing fixtures and all new water piping is provided.

Sustainable Features

  • Re-use of existing structure and materials.
  • New energy efficient building systems and lighting.
  • Improvements to portions of existing building envelope to meet current energy code criteria.

Architect: Miller Hayashi Architects
Construction management: Seattle Public Schools
Contractor: Western Ventures Construction
Structural engineering: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing engineering: Hargis Engineers


Construction began: Spring 2016
Construction complete: Summer 2017
School opened: September 2017

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