New Wyoming Architecture: $45 Million Fort Washakie School Project Awarded to Jackson Hole Architects Ward + Blake and School Designers Fanning/Howey

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Jackson Hole firm Ward + Blake Architects in association with veteran school design specialists Fanning/Howey Associates will design a pre-K through 12th grade campus in Fort Washakie, Wyoming, named for a Shoshone chief who championed education. The design will incorporate cultural symbols related to area history.

Fort Washakie, Wyo., site of the new $45 million school project, was named for Chief Washakie, known for his support of education.

"We want to bring meaning to the project by recognizing the cultural context of the Eastern Shoshone traditions," says Ward + Blake Principal Mitch Blake.

Wyoming’s Fremont County School District #21 has selected Jackson Hole architectural firm Ward + Blake Architects in association with veteran national school design firm Fanning/Howey Associates to design the Fort Washakie pre-K to 8th and high school campus in Fort Washakie, Wyoming. A design charette on the project will bring together the design team and stakeholders for a three-day long brainstorming session. The design will incorporate elements that reference the area’s Native American cultural context.

The new Fort Washakie, Wyo., school will provide classroom, recreational, and extracurricular space for approximately 800 students, serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in two buildings totaling 180,000 square feet. In addition, the school facilities department has authorized an "enhancement" to the project that will allow for 4,342 square feet to be dedicated to cultural activities such as traditional language and dance practice spaces. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016 at a cost of $45 million.

Fort Washakie is located at the confluence of the South and North Forks of the Little Wind River and is named for Shoshone Chief Washakie, namesake for the historic military Fort Washakie. Chief Washakie was known as a great supporter of education, and his policies figured into the first school at Fort Washakie being established as part of the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868 with a first class of 35 students, both Native American and white.

"We want to bring meaning to the project by recognizing the cultural context of the Eastern Shoshone traditions," says Ward + Blake Principal Mitch Blake about the firm’s plans for the school design. "We plan to integrate cultural symbols that imbue meaning to the school’s users into the design of both structures."

Ward + Blake has designed several notable buildings for education, including the Teton County Children’s Learning Center and the St. Johns Medical Center Children’s Learning Center, which is still in the planning stages. The Teton County Children’s Learning Center "The Ranch", a LEED gold building, was built in conjunction with D.W. Arthur Architects and was short-listed in the schools category of the 2012 World Architectural Festival in Singapore.

Company Information:

Ward + Blake Architects was built on a distinctive vision: to be provocative in thought, flexible in nature and disciplined in execution. Since 1996, the firm has earned recognition for architecture that is sensitive to its environment and successfully integrated with its surroundings. Ward + Blake creates buildings that are tactile, modern, bio-climatically responsible, honestly expressed, technologically sound and artfully crafted. For additional information, visit Ward + Blake online at or call 307.733.6867.

Media Contact: Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, darla(at)wordenpr(dot)com, 307.734.5335

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