Environmental Learning Center (SAMI)


News & Updates

If you missed the January grand opening event . . . 

Owls and starfish and robots – oh my! Wildlife and robotics made the perfect combo to show what goes on in the new Environmental Learning Center, the building next to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium that serves as a home base for SAMi students and zoo staff. On Jan. 27, people from across Tacoma celebrated the building and the partnership between Tacoma Public Schools and Metro Parks Tacoma that helped make it happen. 

The Environmental Learning Center is one of 14 schools being built, remodeled or replaced thanks to a $500 million bond issue voters approved in 2013. Thank you, Tacoma voters!


What does a school day look like for SAMi students?

Check out SAMi (Science and Math Institute) students talking about their new building. Then, get a glimpse at a day in the life of a SAMi student.


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About the Project

Project overview

This innovative Environmental Learning Center will feature eight SAMI classrooms, including two science labs, plus administrative space, an early learning center, and space for zoo staff and volunteers. This project is a partnership between Tacoma Public Schools and Metro Parks Tacoma.

Square footage: 30,100
Total projected cost: $19.7 million
Percent complete: 100% 
Open date: Oct. 2, 2017
Architect: McGranahan Architects
Contractor: Forma Construction

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News & Updates

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