Relocated to a parcel once occupied by the Olympia School District’s McKinley Elementary, the Olympia Regional Learning Academy revitalizes education and vibrancy through a garden-like setting; offering a range of indoor and outdoor learning experiences.
A multi-use learning venue, ORLA suits the specialized needs of its four distinct user groups while encouraging family involvement. While students attend class, parents and other family members may wait on campus and are able to; conduct business, eat, play, and volunteer utilizing spaces specifically designed for these purposes. Combined input and expertise – contributed during design by staff, parents, students, and others – shaped the creation of the school’s site features, cutting edge systems, net-zero goals, and unique aesthetic.
Spanning grades K-12, ORLA’s schools include “hConnect”, where home-school families may access a multitude of courses as supplementary education; “ORLA Montessori”, a K-5 program suited to a more hands-on and self-directed style of learning; and “iConnect Academy”, an online option for grades 6-12. The On-Line Development Center records lessons for use by District teachers, staff, and students. ORLA’s generous hallways and gathering spaces form an easy-to-monitor, secure layout to accommodate the flow of parents with strollers, large families, and visitor groups. Shared by all, the commons and performing arts center combine state-of-the-art acoustics and technology to create a multi-functional space, representing the symbolic “heart” of the school.