Sunnyland Elementary School

Bellingham, WA.

Bellingham Public School District
Square Footage
58,000 SF
Electrical Engineering and Lighting Design
Completion Date
August 2022

The new Sunnyland Elementary School is a 58,000-square-foot facility for up to 450 students in grades K-5 designed to replace the outdated 67-year-old school. Sunnyland seeks to provide quality and equal education in a safe environment to its multicultural and diverse community.

The design includes designated movement spaces to provide additional support to students with special needs and an inclusive playground for kids of all abilities to play. The new facility will be used primarily for elementary school instruction and as a community resource. The music room, cafeteria, and full-size gym lay in line and open to a stage for events supported by an advanced AV system.

Each hub of classrooms features overhanging eaves to resemble the roof of the surrounding houses. In addition, the project included parking and site circulation improvements.

The lighting design is both beautiful and functional. Decorative lantern lights illuminate the library with a warm glow, and circular pendants light up the “Extended Learning” area.

Colorful panels on the windows create a cascade of rainbow touches with blue and green light rays in the main entrance and library.

Additionally, the new building complies with code requirements, new technology, and energy efficiency standards and can now keep up with the growing enrollment rate.

The tunable white lighting system in classrooms allows color tuning and dimming to change the light’s color temperature throughout the day to optimize the learning experience for students and staff. The building-installed energy wattage beats the energy code requirements by 28% and will save over 40% energy versus a typical new building.

Through planning and coordination, we ensured all needs for electrical, communications, safety, and security systems were met. We aim to support students and staff to flourish in the learning environments we help create.

Sunnyland Elementary School is going to be a community hub which reflects the diversity and inclusivity of its neighborhood.
Zachary Ham (Dykeman Associate Principal)
Sunnyland is a place where people are coming from all directions in the neighborhood. It serves from north, south, east, west — so this new building, from every direction, welcomes families.
Amy Berreth (Sunnyland Elementary School Principal)