Baker Middle School

                    Baker Middle School Opened January 2012

The Old Baker Middle School shared an 8 acre park with the City Parks Department since the school opened in 1954.  The Harmon Park and Harmon Family Trust dedicated land north of the school parcel in 1922.  The School District and Tacoma Metropolitan Parks shared use(s) in a mutually beneficial manner for over 50 years. The formal process for a “land trade” was initiated in May 2009 and proposed that Tacoma School District exchange property at the South End Recreational Area (SERA) which used to adjoin the old Mt. Tahoma High School gym site.  Metropolitan Parks received this land to enhance SERA fields and to construct the South Tacoma Community Center.  In return Tacoma School District received the 8-acre Harmon Park parcel.  The 13-acre site development allowed the students to remain in school at the existing Baker Middle School, while the new Baker Middle School was being constructed on the north side of the parcel.
  • On Site Infiltration- responsible storm water collection and re-charge of the South Tacoma aquifer
  • Collection and control of storm pollutants responsible design of service yard
  • Pervious paving
  • Heat island effect – responsible design of landscaping for shade
  • Save and retain existing trees as buffers
  • “Let’s Move” national campaign for healthy children – walking path circumscribing site boundaries and first class outdoor exercise programs and fields
  • Low maintenance synthetic turf fields – No irrigation or moving
  • Low flow irrigation and responsible choice of landscape species – save water resources
  • Cistern collection – harvest and redistribute rainwater on site
  • Encourage public transit and pedestrian travel – bicycle racks and dedicated walkways/paths for biking and walking to school
  • LED site lighting where practical 
  • Orientation of building footprint to harvest renewable resource s
  • Passive/natural ventilation – operable windows
  • High efficiency glazing both for thermal and controlling daylight into spaces
  • Increased insulation of building walls and roof envelope
  • Daylight and views from all interior zones
  • Geo exchange (hybrid heating and cooling)
  • High efficiency boiler
  • Heat recovery units
  • LED lighting where practical
  • Low VOC material
  • Re-used recycle content materials
  • Supply air low return high for better air quality – reduce fan motor sizes and energy usage
  • Motion sensor – occupancy sensor lighting controls-save lighting loads each year
  • Recycling made easy – signage  and stations placed carefully in structure to encourage responsible handling of solid waste products
  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures - dual flush
  • Enhance commissioning  - commitment to on-going performance of system


  • Excellence in Masonry Design for 2012 from Masonry Institute of Washington
  • Citation for 2012 from American school and University Architectural Portfolio
  • Merit Award for 2013 from Polished Apple Award
  • Publisher's Commendation Award for 2013 from Learning By Design
  • Outstanding Project Award for 2013 from Learning By Design
  • Security Best Practices for 2013 from American School and University Architectural Portfolio

 Project Stats

Bond Issue: ​2001
Square footage:​ ​119,594
​Area: ​13 acres
​Capacity: 750
Cost:​ ​$33,000,000
Scope:​ ​Construct new middle school; demolish old Baker Middle School; construct new fields
​Project supervisor: Christy Barrie, Tacoma Public Schools
Completion date: ​January 2012: new school; November 2012: new fields
​Architect: ​BLRB Architects
Contractor:​ ​Curtis King and Kent Voter, Berschauer Phillips Construction