Thompson Elementary School
Chester H. Thompson Elementary School, as it is officially known, was built in 1969, just two years after the school’s namesake passed away. Chester Thompson was an Illinois native who moved to Tacoma in 1883. Thompson eventually bought a farm in Spanaway and became involved in local education. He left enough of a mark that after he died the school board decided to honor him by naming their latest elementary school after him. Little about the school changed during its first 25 years, but in 2005 the old school was torn down and new, state-of-the art facility replaced it. The new two-story Thompson Elementary School was built to house 650 elementary students and 75 preschool students. It was also one of the first schools in the state of Washington to be tested for compliance with the newly adopted sustainable-school protocol.