Laminate partitions are central to the first all-gender school restroom in Washington State.
Social issues and design are increasingly intertwined. Tamara Allen, Architectural Consultant at Wind NW, knows that from experience. Vashon Island High School, just outside of Seattle, began exploring all-gender facilities to better support the school’s LGBTQ population. To renovate both a boys’ and girls’ restroom into two all-gender restrooms—the first of their kind in the state of Washington—to maximize privacy and provide peace of mind for all students at the school.
Allen and her team frequently give presentations to school district construction management teams on facility design trends and best practices. Naturally, restroom privacy and social issues they address—such as gender neutrality and the needs of transgender individuals—are a key learning objective.
“We always research the local area and the privacy challenges they’re running into,” says Allen.
Wind NW often highlights design principles that satisfy local market needs as well as relevant legislation. In this case, state and federal law protected the rights of LGBTQ public school students in Washington.
Allen is a member of the Association for Learning Environments, a national nonprofit focused on improving the places where children learn. She provides construction representatives of school districts with educational best practices and insights on the local market to help them confidently buy into the benefits and value that Bobrick delivers.
Brandy Fox of Construction Planning & Management (CPM), project manager and owner’s representative for Seattle Public Schools and Vashon Island District, suggested Bobrick’s DuraLineSeries Maximum Privacy, Gap-Free (2082G.67) partitions. CPM worked with Wind NW and Barclay Dean Architectural Products.
The Bobrick DuraLineSeries partitions met the students’ needs through increased privacy. Continuous hardware helps eliminate sightlines and 72"-tall doors create a roomlike environment. Each all-gender restroom has a shared hand-washing area, ADA-compliant toilet compartment and Bobrick B-3706C Semi-Recessed Napkin/Tampon Vendors (with Free Vend), ensuring access to feminine hygiene amenities.
Schools can see high rates of vandalism; the Compact Laminate was ideal for durability. “It’s just so vandal resistant. Graffiti comes right off. It’s very difficult to scratch,” says Allen.
In January 2018, the restrooms opened with a local media event and widespread enthusiasm.