A New Building and Campus Ownership
By Bob Baldwin
THE planned renovation of the LPC afforded the opportunity for the school to take a closer look at Eastside Prep’s greatest needs. A plan began to come together for a building that would house a theatre and gathering place for events, art studios, a set shop, and underground parking. But prior to making additional improvements to the buildings, it was time for Eastside Prep to own the campus. After fourteen years of paying rent, EPS purchased the existing buildings on February 1, 2017—a milestone accomplishment for a school so young—planting its feet firmly in this key Kirkland location for generations to come.
Plans for TALI Hall (our working name) then began to solidify. The 50,000-square-foot building contains nineteen classrooms (including special purpose classrooms for art, music, and science), collaborative spaces, multipurpose spaces, and conference rooms. Administrative offices and Guided Study Hall are distributed around the building to enhance the experience and operational needs while integrating these functions with the teaching spaces and gathering spaces. A 500+ seat auditorium/multi-purpose space is one of the crown jewels of the building. The seating is retractable providing access to the full floor for events and functions. The seating also allows for multiple configurations of the theatre space from traditional proscenium style to theatre in the round. The balcony space has a sky-wall that divides the theatre and balcony creating a 130-seat lecture space, a yoga studio, or a multipurpose meeting space. The technical spaces will improve the teaching environment for theatre with lighting/sound system upgrades and a wire tension grid for safe teaching eight feet above the stage floor. This new building will complete the common thoroughfare for the campus creating covered walks, outdoor seating, and accessible pathways. There are inviting gardens and plantings designed to offer precious outdoor space in this urban campus. Atop the roof and accessible from the fourth floor, a roof deck garden is planned with outdoor seating and gathering spaces. A small demonstration teaching garden is also neatly woven into the design.
Construction on this major project will begin in May (although some smaller components are already underway). We plan to complete TALI Hall in September of 2018, just in time for the first day of school.