February 27, 2024 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

During the last several months, our school and district team has been actively collaborating with Mahlum architects to design our new space at Eastgate. In 2022, Bellevue Big Picture School began the process of planning construction for a new building with Mahlum. Plans were paused last year to address the district budget through the elementary school consolidation process. Soon after, we quickly resumed our work with Mahlum last Spring and turned our focus to bringing our design plans to life in the renovation of the Eastgate site. Our original school design team which was composed of BP staff, students, and parents spent considerable time visiting schools and other sites, reflecting on our programmatic needs and prioritizing overarching goals for our new space. Design goals included: replicate professional settings for real world learning (supportive spaces for internships), create flexible and adaptable spaces, ensure connections to the natural environment, place students at the center of their journey with separate spaces for MS and HS and opportunities for overlap, design an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all, promote extracurriculars and specialized areas, stimulate curiosity, passion and wellness and reflect Big Picture culture, community, and diversity. These goals are now framing our renovation work for Eastgate and we’re excited to have many of them featured in the design.

This Fall, Mahlum shared renovation drafts with our staff for feedback and earlier this week, they shared drafts with focus groups of middle school and high school students. After mid-winter break, on Tuesday, February 27,we are inviting all BP families to come hear from the architects, see the draft designs, and engage in conversations about specific aspects of the school design. We’re excited to share our extensive work transforming this space and bringing the project goals for Big Picture to life. Throughout this Spring, our team will continue to solidify design features and begin the permitting process with the city. After that, bids for construction will go out and then construction will begin. The team is working as quickly and thoughtfully as possible to manage all aspects of this project. We anticipate Big Picture at Eastgate opening by Fall 2026 and we’ll communicate each phase of the project as we progress.

Our district is embarking on a new strategic plan with one of its focuses being innovation. I believe it is an exciting time and one in which our BP learning community will really be involved in – for both our innovative building renovation and academic programming aspects. There will be a dedicated webpage for both projects so our learning community can stay informed and engaged. Also, you will receive regular communication from me. We are in the process of setting up a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) email and location on the new webpage to receive questions and post answers. I’ll send that out soon. Thank you for your support and engagement in our Big Picture School community. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming BP school renovation information family night.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.