Major Renovation on Tap for Oregon Elementary

By SCN Staff

CORVALLIS, Ore.—Numerous projects in Oregon are scheduled to begin in 2020 as part of the Corvallis School District’s $200 million facilities bond.

According to an article in the Gazette Times, voters approved the bond in May 2018 that includes funding for projects including upgrading schools to modern seismic standards; building new secure entrances at some schools; adding dedicated cafeterias at most elementary schools that didn’t already have them; adding career and technical education spaces at secondary schools; and adding permanent classrooms to district elementary schools to eliminate the need for modular classrooms.

Garfield Elementary School is just one of the schools that will soon undergo a major renovation. Work on this approximately $25 million project is scheduled to begin before students are let out for summer vacation.

The Wenaha Group is the District’s Bond Program Manager, and Fortis Construction is the construction manager/general contractor on this project. DLR Group is the architect.

Kim Patten, director of facilities and transportation for the Corvallis School District, said in a statement that contractors will be doing site preparation on the school’s field so that crews can move three existing modular classrooms, and place eight additional modulars there to house students during construction, which will continue through the 2020-21 school year.

“Half the school will be in modulars,” she said.

The Garfield Elementary School project involves the addition of six classrooms; creating collaborative and small group learning areas; expanding the library/media center; renovation of existing classroom spaces; adding covered play shelter; improving ADA accessibility; renovating restrooms; repairing the concrete floor foundation; replacing the kitchen flooring; upgrading finishes in shared spaces with floors, paint and ceiling; securing the front entry; office modifications; improving site circulation and parking; repairing and replacing the sidewalk; seismic upgrades; fuel tank decommissioning and upgrades to mechanical, electrical and plumbing.

Temporary walls will be erected to keep students away from construction, in addition to a temporary main entrance and office in a vacant classroom, a construction fence on one side of the school’s blacktop, and modular classrooms two rows deep on the field.

“It’s going to feel a lot different here come September,” Patten told the Gazette-Times during a tour in December of the planned construction.

The cafeteria and gym will not be affected by construction, and most of the school’s blacktop and playground will be available.

When completed in fall 2021, students have a school that contains remodeled and expanded dedicated rooms for music and science and art, plus collaboration spaces for specialists to work with students outside of class, and a full-size library instead of a small library in a converted classroom.

“This coming year is going to have some challenges, but we are going to come together through it and it’s going to be exciting to see that transition happen,” added Patten. “I think students are going to feel appreciative of their new building.”