2009 Fire Damage

2009 Fire Damage

Whatcom Middle School

Devastated by fire in 2009, the Bellingham community expected that 100 year old Whatcom Middle School would never reopen. The School District embraced a bold vision to rebuild.  It included goals that many thought were impossible; recreate the historic school exterior, replace the interior with the same historic look while updating the learning environment, and reopen the doors one year ahead of schedule.

The community was watching, waiting and hoping. For the design/build team, only one thing mattered — working together to fulfill the dreams of students, staff and community.  The impossible happened on September 1st, 2011.  Thousands cheered as the doors of historic Whatcom Middle School reopened one year early, welcoming students and staff back to their classrooms.

The following Whatcom Middle School Fire Documentary was produced by Dykeman in partnership with Dawson Construction, Reid Middleton and Vid-smith Digital Video Production. It was created to capture the history of the Whatcom fire, and the phenomenal efforts of the many community partners that helped reopen the historic school as quickly as possible.

"The architectural team for Whatcom is absolutely the best I have every worked with. It is the most positive interaction I’ve ever had with a team. They actually listen and pay attention to what I say and give it credence... I’m never dismissed out of hand. They always explain their perceptions and inclinations, offer their recommendation when asked, and as I said, are very solicitous of my view.

Mike Anderson, Buildings and Grounds Manager