Building FAQs

List of 5 items.

  • What building projects are in process?

    Annie Wright Schools has a number of new building projects underway to enhance the campus, facilities and programs for our students, reduce traffic congestion surrounding the school and allow for overall property beautification.
    • The Upper School for Boys will have its own academic building by the start of the 2019-20 school year. This building will be located at the corner of North Tacoma Avenue and Tennis Court Road. The building will be separate from the main school and include its own entrance. The new building will be lower in elevation than the existing trees so it does not obstruct current views from homes across the street.
    • The gym expansion project, including a new pool, will be for all Annie Wright School students. With physical education programming starting in Preschool, and after-school athletics programming for Kindergarten to Grade 12, we need more space for students to move and play.
  • How are these benefiting our community?

    These projects will help us enhance the educational experience for our students - current and future. We also have specific plans in place to reduce traffic congestion surrounding the school and improve the overall property look and feel.
  • Can you outline specific timing for all projects?

    We break ground on the Upper School for Boys building and new gym and pool on June 18, 2018 and finish in August 2019.
  • What is your construction mitigation plan with regard to hours of construction work, noise level, parking etc.?

    Construction hours are dictated by the City of Tacoma municipal code 8.122.070 which states:
    1. All construction devices used in construction and demolition activity shall be operated with a muffler if a muffler is commonly available for such construction device.
    2. Construction and demolition activity, excluding emergency work, shall not be performed between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays or between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends and federal holidays, except as otherwise provided in this code.
    3. After hours work on weekdays and weekends shall be allowed, provided that no sound created by the work exceeds the limits in Section 8.122.060(a). (Repealed and reenacted by Ord. 28293 Ex. A; passed Apr. 14, 2015: Ord. 27673 Ex. A; passed Feb. 19, 2008).
    4. Some construction crew parking will be available offsite at Immanuel Presbyterian Church on I Street, and we are exploring some additional offsite parking as well.
  • Who should I contact with questions and/or issues?

    For issues related to construction crews, noise or construction times, please contact the following:

    • Absher Project Superintendent, Andy Moore, at 253.831.5401
    • Absher Construction Project Manager, Jeff Havranek, at 734.395.0179
    • AWS Director of Finance & Operations, Mary Sigmen, at 253.284.8620 or

Parking & Traffic

List of 9 items.

  • What are the overall parking plans?

    Our current proposal provides for an expanded and reconfigured upper and lower Kemper parking lot, which will provide 92 parking spaces and emergency vehicle access. With the additional 13 spaces added with the 10th Street project, the total parking provided on site will be 105 spaces, compliant with City code. 20 additional spots have been secured at Immanuel Presbyterian Church on I Street and are currently being used by faculty & staff.
  • Will boarding students have cars?

    Our boarding population are primarily 7-day boarding students who are by policy, not allowed to have cars. Our 5-day boarders in Grades 11 and 12, are allowed to bring cars to school and use them for transportation to and from their homes only. We currently have three students making use of this option, and the maximum number eligible is 13.
  • Are you conducting a parking study that takes into consideration all the extra traffic the school generates?

    The proposed projects were evaluated by TENW and a report was provided on June 15, 2017. The report evaluated the projects for traffic operational impacts, parking demands, and recommended traffic mitigation.
  • Will having the boys' school require more buses?

    We do not require additional buses. We have space available on each of our current bus routes.
  • Will parking by the Kemper Center be for students?

    Our students don’t typically park in the parking lots and we do not anticipate that changing. The limited spots that exist there now are usually taken by dorm parents or faculty who arrive much earlier than students.
  • Where are faculty/staff told to park?

    Faculty and staff are encouraged to park in open spots in the Kemper lots, on North Tacoma Avenue and adjacent, non-permit side streets. Faculty and staff are not allowed to park on the AWS side of 10th Street or on 11th Street. 20 additional spots have been secured for three years at Immanuel Presbyterian Church on I Street and are currently being used by faculty & staff.
  • Will drop offs on Tacoma Avenue stop?

    Parents are encouraged to drop off students at 10th Street circle drive only.
  • Why isn’t there a plan for underground parking or a parking garage?

    All options have and continue to be explored -- including onsite and offsite parking. Funding and available space on campus continue to be major concerns for underground parking and a parking garage.

    Our current plans are to expand the upper and lower Kemper parking lots:

    • The upper parking will be reconfigured with a new entry that is northeast of the current access. This lot would provide plenty of buffer from the large redwood tree, and would be expanded by building a retaining wall to provide a flat area for new spaces.
    • The lower parking will continue its linear pattern to the south, expanding the parking zones by building retaining walls on either side and regrading the slope to accommodate a wider paved area.
  • What did the traffic consultant find in the initial assessment?

    The proposed projects were evaluated by TENW and a report was provided on June 15, 2017. The traffic and parking study evaluated the existing operational characteristics of intersections surrounding Annie Wright Schools.  It finds that the intersections are currently operating at a level of service standard of “A” or “B” (on an A – F scale). The City establishes a minimum acceptable level of service standard of “E”, wherein a new project would be required to make improvements if a project impacted an intersection below that threshold.  The results of the study are that the new Upper School for the Boys project would remain at level of service “B” or better, therefore area roadway improvements are not warranted or required. The new Upper School for the Boys project is estimated to generate approximately 276 new daily vehicular trips, comprised of 103 new a.m. peak hour trips and 63 new p.m. peak hour vehicular trips.  The p.m. peak hour used for the traffic study was the hour surrounding the afternoon dismissal time.
    Annie Wright Schools currently has 62 parking spaces. The City requires that new improvements provide the code-required amount of parking, which would be an additional 43 spaces to accommodate the increased enrollment.  The project will be expanding the upper and lower Kemper parking lots to meet the code requirement for a total of 105 on-site parking spaces.

Upper School for Boys Building

List of 2 items.

  • What is the entry/flow from the Upper School for Boys building to main building/dining/gym?

    There will be a courtyard between the building and the main entrance on North Tacoma Avenue. Access to the dining room and the Kemper will be via the patio area adjacent to the Dining Room.
  • What will the new trees look like?

    Preserving the aesthetics of our campus and North Tacoma Avenue is a priority. Our landscaping plans are not final, but we hope to plant mature trees that are appropriate for the area. Some existing trees will be removed to provide new parking. Additional trees will be planted adjacent to new parking areas to provide shade and buffer views, with landscape enhancements to mitigate the impact of walls, along with planting of slopes to ensure stability and limit erosion. The large redwood near the cottage is a significant tree on campus and will be protected by limiting construction near the critical root zone. The trees slated for removal are types of species and sizes that potentially could be harvested for use on-site. The design team will look for opportunities to incorporate wood from these trees into site and building elements as design develops.

Gymnasium & Pool

List of 5 items.

  • What are the hours for the gym?

    Typically games are no later than 8:00 pm on weeknights. On occasion, we hold student or parent events in the gym that might run later on a weekend.
  • Who will be allowed to use the gym?

    For now the gym will be for the use of the AWS community, but we may consider the possibility of outside use at a later time.
  • Can neighbors use the pool?

    We will evaluate the possibility of opening the pool for public use after the facility is open and we have our own internal schedule streamlined.
  • Will more events happen at the new gym?

    We may have a slight increase in the number of afterschool games during volleyball and basketball seasons.
  • What time of day will most events happen?

    Most events will happen after school (school day ends at 3:10 pm) or in the evening when the majority of the students have left campus for the day. On occasion, we hold student or parent events in the gym that might run later on a weekend.


Annie Wright Schools
Main Campus:
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403

Downtown Campus:
936 Broadway
Tacoma, WA 98402

Translate this page:

Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower  and Middle Schools offer co-ed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls  and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.