Renovation Begins at Historic Oregon Campus

MEDFORD, Ore. — History and eco-minded construction are intersecting in east Medford, where a phased renovation is under way at Lone Pine Elementary School.

The school, which was built in the 1920s, sits on a site that has been the location of educational facilities since 1887.

Phase one of the $11.7 million overhaul, one of several remodels and expansions the school has undergone throughout its long history, included the demolition of four campus buildings.

The remaining three buildings will be retrofitted during phase two of the project, which begin this fall and includes the construction of a two-story, 22,500-square-foot classroom building; a 15,500-square-foot gymnasium and cafeteria; a remodeled school library and two remodeled classroom buildings.

“We envision a quieter, greener upper campus, taking advantage of the topography and trees to create a series of landscaped outdoor learning spaces,” says Anjail Grant, project manager with Mahlum Architects, a Seattle-based architectural firm.

The design team faced several challenges — sloping terrain, retained buildings and existing playing fields — while planning the project.

A portable acoustic wall that can be removed to accommodate up to 800 people will separate the gym/cafeteria. The facility will open onto a central courtyard and amphitheater, while sports fields sit in front of the Siskiyou Mountains to the south.

“Our goal was to use the steep terrain to knit together the old and new parts of the campus into a coherent whole,” Grant says.

Green elements, such as operable windows, ventilation systems that utilize outside air, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, natural light and infiltration planters to filter rainwater, were integrated into the project.

“There’s a strong desire for the learning environment at Lone Pine to benefit from an integrated high performance, or sustainable design,” says Mark Cork, a principal at Mahlum. “The design team has worked together to develop a building that minimizes its environmental impact and operating costs.”

The project is expected to be completed by August 2009. Adroit Construction is the builder and Architectural Design Works is the local architect working on the project.