The new Orca K-8 playground and playfield will incorporate the values and priorities identified by our community during development of the conceptual design.




Key features of POP vision plan include:

  • Reinvented site entries to ease congestion and encourage kids, parents, and visitors to sit, interact, and play;
  • Expanded playground equipment that includes all age groups (preschool through 8th grade) and Orca’s medically fragile population (“Team A”);
  • Council Ring and Nature Interactive Area that provides a gathering place and outdoor classroom, particularly for older kids/tweens;
  • Running track approximately .2 miles;
  • Renovated play field;
  • Pole and Ramp Course for all, but will particularly benefit Orca’s medically fragile population;
  • Texture/ Nature path with logs and boulders;
  • New garden areas to complement Orca’s garden program;
  • Increased safety and site lines for supervising children during and outside of school time.



The construction of this project has been divided into two phases. The first will be complete by summer 2015, and will renovate the playfield, build a new track with a pole and ramp course, develop a new lower entryway to the playground, and construct the Council Ring outdoor gathering area. The second phase is anticipated to be constructed in 2016-17, and will build the upper entryway and new playground, as well as ample new landscaped areas. The POP Committee is now working to raise the necessary funds to construct phase one of the project.

Planning and Design $50,000
Construction Phase 1 $202,661
Construction Phase 2 $250,730




The first phase of construction, anticipated to be constructed in summer 2015, will focus on elements that Orca currently lacks.

    • An ample welcome plaza will feature entry signage, a bench, tile artwork, and provide much needed wayfinding for the school. Broad steps up to the playground help relieve congestion at the school’s constricted entry ramp.

      Johnson Southerland

    • Upon entering the playground, people will experience an ocean/shore theme, established in existing artwork, and further expressed in wave-prints and sea-form hopscotch games painted across the newly expanded asphalt.

      Johnson Southerland

    • The existing play equipment will get new surfacing, provided by the school district. A fabulous new set of monkey bars will provide some challenge for bigger kids and will be a taste of further play equipment replacement to take place in a future phase. Blacktop games (4-square, tether ball) have been reorganized to minimize circulation conflicts and to activate the south end of the playground.

      Johnson Southerland

    • A new safety gate will keep kids from disappearing down the stairs by the side of the school.
    • The wave-prints on the asphalt create a trail encircling the entire playground that is completed by a 6’ wide trail around the field. Play and exercise “events”, such as a boulder, a bench (for sitting, balancing, push-ups and step-ups), and equipment such as parallel bars dot the trail. Because Orca’s playground is so small for its 500+ kids, the loop trail helps by adding all-weather play surface and activating the entire site.

      Johnson Southerland

    • A ramp and pole obstacle course along the track will benefit all kids, but was specially designed to benefit Team A, kids in Orca’s medically fragile classrooms, many of whom are confined to wheelchairs.

      Johnson Southerland

    • The Council Ring/Nature Interactive Area is an outdoor classroom created from logs (some potentially recycled from the site), boulders and new plantings. Stepping stones create a rustic labyrinth. In addition to providing an alternate location for learning activities, it provides kids direct contact with natural materials and a place that feels relatively immersed in nature.

      Johnson Southerland

    • An adjustment to the fence line will put “the dip” on the outside so kids can’t disappear into it during recess.
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