DAY CPM Tackles Once in 100-Year School Addition and Renovation
Schools are the center of communities for the students who attend, the parents who rely on a safe place for education, and for others who simply want to see their tax dollars put to good use. With such high visibility and expectation of excellence, any project involving a school brings a special set of challenges.
DAY CPM has developed a recipe for success in working with school districts throughout Oregon to complete projects for K-12 schools. Reflective of this is its current role as Bond Program Manager for the Nestucca Valley School District’s 2018 Bond Program.
DAY CPM had a previous working relationship with the school district. The manager of the District’s last bond project, more than 10 years ago, is now a DAY CPM employee. The company also has a strong connection with the DLR Group which was chosen as the architect and design firm for the Nestucca project. To cement the award of the contract, Brian Hardebeck, senior project manager, shared during the Board interview, how his rural, farm background could bring a keener understanding of the needs of a rural community. “You don’t get opportunities if you don’t ask. We made our points, showing we had the right team, the level of services, and the personnel to kick us over the top, and asked them for the job” he said. The board agreed and appreciated that DAY CPM was the only company to ask directly to do the work.
The scope of the job is wide from design through construction, budget, and procurement, to quality control, and has included numerous obstacles that come from working in a normal rural location. Before considering the 1953 era school building itself, the team first had to address the need to improve utilities on the site. The only public utilities serving the school are electricity and broadband cable internet. There is no natural gas service leaving propane tanks as the fuel of choice, and with no public sewer, on-site septic and leach fields had to be expanded significantly to handle wastewater.
The potable water system is from on-site wells with high mineral content. Water coming from the old pipes met EPA drinkable water standards but was orange and was distasteful to drink—facts that proved to be the deciding factor for public approval of the bond. A new well was added along with new piping. Advanced filtration and treatment were necessitated requiring extensive work with the DEQ and the OHA to gain approvals.
In addition, a 60,000 gallon underground firewater storage facility had to be incorporated to cover the fire-fighting needs for the expanded facility. This system is also available for the Fire Department to draft from to fill tanker trucks with water to fight local community fires. Stormwater management will be controlled through the installation of management ponds covering nearly one acre.
The last infrastructure hurdle is to provide stable, affordable, internet service to residents for distance learning. Nearly 40% of students in the district did not have broadband connectivity. DAY CPM assisted the District in integrating its grassroots, non-bond funded, Tillamook County network of towers, repeaters, and in-home hot spots into the new systems at the K-8 school. The new infrastructure will deliver expanded internet service at a significantly lower cost to rural homesites. The end result is that 99.8% of students will have access when completed.
“This was a once in a 100-year new build project for the district. They have been through so much this year that we are happy our services could relieve them from having to do the heavy lifting of construction management too. We allowed them to concentrate on what they do best— educate—while we managed the improvements with our CM/GC Contractor, O’Brien Construction,” Brian said.
The new facility will add 38,000 gsf to the existing 33,000 gsf allowing the school to expand from K-5 to K-8 and serve 380 students. Filling that space will be a double gymnasium, library and media center, music space, administration areas, and a redesign and expansion of both the commons/cafeteria and classroom areas. The plans are for an open flexible design to foster community use and accessibility. The building is above the tsunami impact zone and meets seismic code so it will also serve as an emergency center for the community.
The project includes planned phased occupancies which started in June 2019. The project team has been able to take advantage of the forced closing of the school, due to COVID-19 protocols, to accelerate the start of the building renovations. The Certificate of Occupancy has been issued and administrators are expected to move back into the school in mid-December. The new addition is tracking for an April 2021 completion.
Overall, the project is four and a half months ahead of the original schedule. The re-sequenced schedule has saved the District money enabling it to expand the scope of the bond projects to replace an aging Career Technical Education (CTE) center at the high school campus among other options. The new CTE center will be housed in a pre-engineered metal building that meets code and will allow for expanded offerings for the community.
“This project will create a facility that is the heart of the Nestucca Valley community. As the largest and safest structure in south Tillamook Couty our community will use this facility not only as an educational building but a community event resource. I am very proud of how this project is turning out and confident that it will serve the community well for the next 70 years,” said Misty Wharton, Nestucca Valley School District Superintendent.