Chief Kitsap Academy

Suquamish, WA


Suquamish Tribe


3,500 SF


Estimated 2023

Construction Budget:




Big Things Come in Small Packages

Suquamish Tribe Chief Kitsap Academy serves approximately 90 students in grades 6th – 12th.  With offerings such as weaving, carving and Lushootseed language classes, on top of standard subjects.  As the first Tribal Compact school in the State of Washington, the school makes traditional Native American education available to all students in the North Kitsap School District, tuition-free, irrespective of tribal affiliation. 


After relocating to the former Northwest College of Art and Design campus in 2017, the school needed a larger space in which to gather their student body and staff.  Dubbed Chief Kitsap Commons, this 3,500 square foot building offers a 3,000 square foot multi-purpose room with large glass openings, telescoping bleachers, an office, restrooms and storage.  The exterior integrates graciously with the rest of the campus and incorporates large overhangs as well as amphitheater seating for additional gatherings and activities. 


The project took an integrated approach and teamed ARC Architects with Korsmo Construction (who built the Suquamish Youth and Fitness Center, also designed by ARC Architects).  This integrated approach allowed the team to understand cost implications of myriad design decisions and keep construction costs under control.  This approach led to some strategic value engineering decisions such as limiting wall plate height to available common lumber sizes, limiting openings to increase building thermal efficiency, and spacing structural elements to minimize costs.

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