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Parkrose builds a middle school
TIM CURRAN
THE MID-COUNTY MEMO

Parkrose Superintendent Karen Fischer Gray likes the view from, and of the new middle school.
Mid-county Memo photo/Tim Curran
Parkrose School District officials arranged a public tour of the construction work underway at the new Parkrose Middle School and work completed at the district admin building and at Shaver and Sacramento elementary schools last month.

With a little help from representatives from the construction firms that did the work, Superintendent Karen Fischer Gray and Dan Hess, associate principal at Dull Olsen Weekes IBI Group Architects, the district's designer for the bond work, conducted the tour.

Chauffeured to sites in a school bus, about two dozen people showed up to see what their tax money is buying.

The tour began at the district's admin building, which got a $350,000 makeover that included new windows, a security entrance and office remodeling.

A 30-year, $63 million bond measure passed by district voters in May 2011 (in a recount by six out of more than 5,000 votes cast) funds the work. The bulk of the bond-$43 million-goes to building the new middle school. The remaining $20 million paid for remodeling and refurbishing the district's administration building, its four elementary schools and constructing new multi-purpose rooms for 1.2 million apiece at three: Shaver, Russell and Sacramento.

Todd Construction is building the 140,000-square-foot middle school. According to Gray, the project is on time and under budget.

Overall, voters the Memo talked to were impressed with what they saw and heard. At the end of the circuit, Parkrose resident Roxanna Hubbard said, “I just continuously said 'Wow … wow.'” Not only was she a no vote on the bond, but Hubbard is also a retired Parkrose special education teacher who spent hours in every district school. “It's impressive looking what's been done,” she added. However, Hubbard reserves judgment on the value. “We'll see,” she said. “Only time will tell.”

First stop was Shaver Elementary. Tourists were shown the brand-new multi-purpose room completed in August, an example of a remodeled classroom and the new, efficient heating plant.

Next stop was the middle school construction site. Built next to the current Parkrose Middle School, the new building is 30,000 square feet larger-140,000 square feet vs. 110,000 square feet.

Who is doing the work?
• Bond architect: Dull Olsen Weekes - IBI Group Architects, Inc.
• Bond Project Manager: Heery International
• New middle school: Todd Construction
• Sacramento Elementary remodel, including the multipurpose room: Triplett Wellman Contractors
• Shaver and Russell Elementary multipurpose rooms: Emerick Construction
• District Administration building: Todd Hess Building Company
A state-of-the-art high-school-size gymnasium is part of the design, which is ironic since funding for all sports at the middle school were cut last year. However, board chair Ed Grassel said they hope to restore funding for sports within five years. In the meantime, the district hopes to rent the gym to private groups and intramural teams.

When finished, the middle school building is expected to earn Gold level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Compared to conventional buildings, LEED-certified buildings simply built to code are intended to use resources more efficiently.


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