Birney Elementary School Replacement

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News & Updates

Nothing like a new playground on the first day of school!

What's better than the normal first-day-of-school excitement? A new playground on the first day, too. 

Over the summer, construction crews had to rip out the old Birney playground structure to make room for the new school. We found a way to bring in the school's new play equipment  early, rather than wait until fall 2020, when the new Birney is expected to open. 

Who likes it more - staff or students?

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They grow so fast

Click here to see what's happening right now on the live construction web-cam. The new Birney Elementary school is scheduled to open September 2020. 
Use internet Explorer with Adobe Flash enabled to view the live feed. 

About the Project

Project Overview

Birney Elementary is home to three Deaf and Hard of Hearing Programs for preschool through fifth grade. Birney also offers a special education program and HeadStart preschool. Birney currently serves approximately 470 students in Tacoma's South End. The current building was built in 1962, with the addition of a gymnasium and resource room in 1972.

Students will remain on site during construction. 

Take a look at McGranahan's January 2018 Presentation, which details what the new Birney will offer. 

Student capacity: 545 students
Projected budget: $37.1 million   
Architect: McGranahan Architects    
Contractor: Turner Construction
Construction: May 2019 - September 2020  
Expected opening: September 2020

This project is funded by the $500 million school construction bond voters passed in 2013.

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While construction doesn't begin until summer 2018, we know many people will have questions now. Email your ideas and questions to

News & Updates

Access archived project news  here