LOCAL ARCHITECTS On the Drawing Board

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When architects have plans on the drawing board, the entire construction industry can look forward to starting their engines.

“After the last few years we’re excited about any projects that come our way…and anything that passes through our office and subsequently into the hands of the local construction crews improves the Central Oregon economy,” says Neal Huston, AIA, IIDA, ASID LEED AP of Neal Huston & Associates Architects Inc. Huston adds, “2013 was clearly a better year for design / construction activity in Central Oregon than the most previous years. Based upon word on the street and the commissions and inquiries we’ve had come though our office in recent months, it seems that 2014 should be another step forward, even though this is clearly not big foot walking. The cautious optimism expressed by many members of our regional communities would seem to support this expectation of a reasonably active and positive year ahead.”

The newly elected president of the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) is a veteran in the building industry. Chuck Schermerhorn of Neil Kelly Design Build has spent 40 years working in the building industry and concurs with Huston, “2013 has seen a robust rebound in new construction and remodeling and I definitely see continued growth in 2104.”

Neal Huston & Associates Architects Inc. finished a large brewery project in 2013 (Worthy Brewing) and final construction is nearing completion for the Honda of Bend renovation project. “However, over the last five years opportunities for commercial work, other than remodels and tenant improvements, have been far from strong,” offers Huston. “Our office thrives on variety, so we are very pleased to see a more varied mix of projects ahead including custom residences, merchant housing, industrial facilities, stand-alone office buildings, resort and hospitality work, commercial and retail tenant improvements…and both commercial and residential remodel / addition projects.”

Steele Associates Architects believes 2014 is shaping up to be a strong year in terms of design and construction, which is great news for all. “Toward the end of 2013 we started seeing a distinct increase in activity,” explains Scott Steele, president and founder, Steele Associates Architects. “It appears that private developers are feeling confident enough to move forward with new projects and there are great public educational projects beginning.

“We are working hard with the Bend La Pine School District on the new elementary prototype which will be ready for fall 2015 and we’re excited to be a part of the design team for the new OSU-Cascades Campus project which is so important for our community in myriad ways. It’s wonderful to see such strong support for education in our region. These new facilities will catalyze our economy and provide high quality learning environments and greater access to higher education for generations to come.”

On other fronts Steele Associates Architects have assisted living projects coming up in and out of Central Oregon, a new bank on the coast and Fed Ex opportunities all over the United States. “Locally we have half a dozen commercial/retail projects, a contemporary home, Crescent USFS and the Deschutes County Jail expansion,” says Steele. “We’re also very excited for Madras as the construction of the new Erickson Aircraft Collection building gets underway. Erickson’s collection is impressive and will attract more aviation interest and activity to Central Oregon, in addition it will be welcomed by historic aircraft buffs far and wide. Healthcare was strong in 2013 for us and it appears it will be again in 2014.

“It’s been quite few years since we’ve seen so much activity in Central Oregon and I must say it feels great!” concludes Steele.

Seth E. Anderson, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP principal architect of Ambient Architecture, LLC says the firm is continuing to see interest from its Central Oregon clients in improving tenant suites for businesses relocating to larger spaces or expanding their current space.

“There is also significant activity in remodeling existing buildings for new uses, such as Wild Ride Brewing’s reuse of the former Parr Lumber warehouse in Redmond,” says Anderson.

“We’re also seeing some fledgling interest in new development for retail and manufacturing users. Our national senior- and assisted-living work continues to remain strong, bringing a stable source of employment. I expect to see sustained improvement in the local economy and continued investment in our local real estate market.

“On a professional level, I’m excited to see more open communication and collaboration between local architects and firms. This change started in January 2013 with the creation of the Central Oregon Professional Architecture Network (COPAN). Last Fall, 12 firms participated in a public showcase of work by Central Oregon architecture firms and the event was well attended. COPAN, in conjunction with the AIA Southwestern Oregon Chapter, plans to have more events and professional education opportunities in 2014.”

In May, voters approved a bond measure to authorize Bend-La Pine Schools to sell $96 million in bonds to fund the construction of two new schools to address continued enrollment growth and 138 other safety, maintenance and classroom addition projects on the community’s behalf. Thanks to the support of Bend, La Pine and Sunriver residents, a new elementary and a new middle school will open doors to students as soon as Fall 2015. These learning centers will help balance student enrollment growth across a district that has seen more than 1,000 new students enroll in the last five years alone.

In 2014, BBT Architects’ top projects will be the new Bend Middle School, two new elementary schools as well as an early education center and district projects for the Pendleton School District, the Robberson Ford renovation, COCC Redmond Technology Center (to be completed in 2014), Warm Springs K-8 School (to be completed in 2014), the Madras High School Performing Arts Center & Athletic Complex (to be completed in 2014) and Grace First Lutheran Church Remodel (to be completed in 2014).

Designed by BBT Architects Inc., the new technology center features state-of-the-art design and functionality, creating an environment where students can excel, and offer up the best of Central Oregon to an ever changing hi-tech manufacturing industry. The design provides flexibility so that it can incorporate programs in technologies not yet created. The contractor on the project is Kirby Nagelhout Construction with a completion date of July 2014.

“When COCC President Jim Middleton spoke to us about this project, it was important to him to have a facility that would catch the eye of those professionals who may be considering locating their operations in Central Oregon. It needed to stand out, and be better than other tech centers around the country,” said Donald Stevens, principal at BBT Architects. “We want executives visiting the facility to have confidence in the future workforce being trained there. We designed the entire facility around the needs of today and future needs. We designed several flexible laboratories that don’t yet have programs scheduled for their use. It was important for the facility to be ready to evolve with the tech industry.”

BLRB Architects’ Bend office reports that it is excited about the growth the firm has seen in recent months and where 2014 will take them. BLRB has hired five employees in recent months to staff their growing list of projects in the Central Oregon area.

The firm’s current projects include the new elementary school for the Crook County School District in Prineville and the modernization of the Bend Senior Center. Currently in design, the $18.7 million elementary school for the Crook County School District is set to be located in the Iron Horse Development in Northeast Prineville. The school will house 700 students.

Additionally, BLRB is working with two local resorts and various multi-family projects.

BLRB is currently engaged with the Bend Park and Recreation District for the first phase of the modernization of the Bend Senior Center at SE 15th Street and Reed Market Road.

Darrell Barnes AIA of Darrell Barnes Architect, Inc. is working with The Klamath Tribes on a particularly interesting project that requires special sensitivity and careful architectural response given the cultural importance it will represent for its owner. The design was informed by doing extensive research into the history, building typology and cultures of The Klamath Tribes explains Barnes. This information was then interpreted with contemporary materials and methods, and incorporated into the massing, patterns and finishes of the structure.

The $2.3 million, 8,512 square foot facility — called goos oLgi gowa, The Klamath Tribes’ Pine Grove Gathering Place — is oriented on the true compass coordinates with the main Roundhouse entrance facing east as they were typically constructed. Historically the Roundhouses were partially sunken into the earth with only the upper portion of walls and the gently sloping conical roof visible above grade. In keeping with this tradition while accommodating Universal Design, the new Roundhouse is built into an earthen berm, merging with the landscape.

The new housing development and Pine Grove Gathering is bringing a fresh vitality and jobs to the Chiloquin community as well as bringing work to Central Oregon contractors. It is the centerpiece for a new 55 acre residential housing development currently under construction in the community of Chiloquin, Oregon.

The Gathering Place will provide a local community center and administrative offices for the housing development, as well as a gathering place and cultural center for the greater Klamath Tribes. According to Barnes the facility is designed to provide an interpretive center for visitors traveling to Crater Lake and will also serve as a studio location for tribal artisans to teach, create, display and sell their works.

The project references historic and indigenous construction materials such as Lodgepole pine, Cedar, Douglas Fir, log and plank frame structure and basalt boulder piers. The Roundhouse metaphorically and graphically represents Crater Lake with a stylized rendition of the iconic crater rendered with the integrally colored cork rubber floor covering system. Traditional Klamath Tribes’ basket weave patterns were interpreted into the log truss configurations.

“We are excited to see property values going up in Central Oregon and are feeling optimistic about the upward swing of commercial development in the area,” says Cheryl McIntosh, director of marketing for Lenity Architecture. “The contagious energy of an economy slowly gaining its footing can be felt at The Sunriver Village where the recent major renovation has sparked interest in both new tenants and business owners.

“The renovation initially included seven remodeled buildings and three new buildings. A new commercial space with a drive through, located near the Sunriver Country Store, is also planned and has already been through the appropriate approval process with Deschutes County and SROA.

“Also brewing is the Sunriver Brewing Company’s new brewing facility located in the Sunriver Business Park. When completed, it will house their offices and primary brewing facility. The newly remodeled restaurant will remain in its current location in The Village at Sunriver.”

Most of Lenity’s commercial work is in Oregon and Washington and the firm is also in various stages of completion on multiple senior living projects across the United States and Canada. Other projects include the recent completion of the Westriver Dental tenant improvement in the Mill Quarter Building, as well as the 20,000 square foot Sanford World Medical building (new construction) in Klamath Falls. “We’re also thrilled for the recently completed Chucks Produce Grocery Store in Vancouver and the Vancouver Hampton Inn which is currently under construction,” adds McIntosh.

“When considering trends and the outlook over the next several years, there’s no way to put a blanket prediction over how the industry as a whole will respond to the hurdles of the new economy,” says Marcus Hite, shareholder with Lenity. “What we do know is that by staying true to our company values, our mission and by continually putting the needs of our clients first, we’ve been able to weather the storm just fine so far.”

Lenity Architecture recently expanded into a larger office in Bend to accommodate additional staff including the most recent hire, Larry Wright, founder of Tekneek Architecture in Bend.

“Bend is continuing to thrive by providing new reasons to encourage growth and expansion,” says Kelly Hervey, business development, Pinnacle Architecture, Inc.

“Everyone knows why Bend is so great; the crisp clean mountain air, skiing right outside your back door, beautiful winding roads perfect for a Sunday drive, along with just about every other outdoor activity there is known to man. It comes as no surprise that many of the people that have vacationed here for years have decided to stay. Entrepreneurs are constantly bringing their companies with them when the relocate here.

“Perhaps the biggest anticipated project for our local community is the expansion plans of the Oregon State University Cascade Campus into the new four-year university. This will prove to be an asset to our community by encouraging students to come here to study and retaining those to stay here after high school, strengthening our Central Oregon economy.

“In relation to the growth in higher education, we are looking forward to the Central Oregon Community College Student Housing project. We have teamed up with Mahlum Architects of Portland for this much anticipated facility, due to complete in the fall of 2015, pending board approval in late January. The building will be designed to provide a traditional first-year college experience for student residents and appeal to prospective students with amenities including a fitness room, student lounges and a community kitchen. Placed on a hillside below the main campus, the building takes advantage of sweeping mountain views for the occupants.

“Pinnacle will also be wrapping up the Ochoco Hall Remodel for Central Oregon Community College this year which will add to the improvements made to the existing campus and aid to the future building use and program offerings.”

Additional projects that have commenced for Pinnacle in 2013 are the Umatilla-Morrow Head Start facility, Richland Elderly Housing and the Cow Creek Health and Wellness Center.

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