Foss High School

2112 S. Tyler St., Tacoma, WA 98405

In 2001, Henry Foss High School earned a Washington State Achiever School grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This honor, coupled with money made available through the 2001 bond, set the school on the course of an extensive renovation program aimed at providing 21st century facilities for Foss students, staff and community members.

The original Foss building opened in 1973, and since then it has grown outdated. Not only did the brick mass of the structure fail to convey the vital identity of the students and staff who now inhabit it, but the open-plan concept on which the design was based did not support present-day dynamic teaching methods.

The scope of work included: two new classroom additions to accommodate students currently housed in portables; extensive upgrades to science labs; an expansion of the existing gymnasium and upgrade of various physical education and athletic support spaces; the addition of a new auxiliary gym and new weight room; hazardous materials abatement; and a complete replacement of the entire building's mechanical, plumbing and lighting systems.

The design solution dramatically changed the essential character of the facility, and created a reinvigorated sense of place for the school community. Renovations were completed in September 2005.


  • Award for Best Renovation for 2005 from McGraw Hill
  • Outstanding Building Design-High Schools for 2007 from American School and University Magazine's 25th Annual Architectural Portfolio 

 Project Stats

​Bond issue: 2001
Square footage:​ ​196,417
Area:​ 34.29 acres
​Capacity: ​1872
​Cost: ​$31,683,169
​Scope: ​Add two new classrooms with numerous upgrades throughout the school.
​Project supervisor: ​Tom Martin, Tacoma Public Schools
Completion date:​ September 2005
​Architect: ​DLR Group
​Contractor: ​Garco Construction Company