Annie Wright Upper School for Boys

Tacoma, WA

The $20.8M Annie Wright Upper Boys School and Gym project involved construction of a 26,500 SF academic building, a 17.500 SF auxiliary gym with below-grade pool and parking lot expansion. Additional site work included laboratory, high-end finishes, art installation, landscape, irrigation, tree protection, sidewalks, and hydro-seeding.

Groundwater has been a challenge at the site, as there has been a constant flow into the gym site, rather than the pocket of groundwater that the study had anticipated. To mitigate the groundwater, while still protecting the Puget Sound waterway, Absher Superintendent, Andy Moore, devised a pump system to filter the water before allowing it back into the ground elsewhere on the site. However, because the sheer volume of existing groundwater is higher than can realistically accommodate, and will rise even higher during rainfall, Absher’s team coordinated with the City of Tacoma to allow the excess to flow into the sanitary sewer system. This will allow the additional water to be treated before flowing into the local waterways.

Once the pool is finished and the drain and piping systems are closed off, the water within the pool and the groundwater pump system will work together to maintain a positive pressure against the groundwater flow to keep the new structure from being damaged.

Quick Facts

  • Private Negotiated
  • $17.5M
  • Bald Eagle’s Nest Protection on Site
  • Designed by Mithun


  • Annie Wright Schools