Prineville, Oregon See Economic Opportunities with New Hospital & Elementary School

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(Photo above: St. Charles Health Care in Prineville)

Barnes Butte Elementary School
With Crook County School District’s oldest elementary schools pushing a ripe old age of 63 and 76 years, the new Barnes Butte Elementary School is on-track to open in the fall of 2015.

At approximately 70 percent completion, tours are offered to the public every Friday afternoon, and progress is visible on a weekly basis. The new 73,000 square-foot construction boasts a pod design, with each grade level of classrooms surrounding and looking into a commons area. The structure is multi-level, and includes a 6,000-square foot gymnasium for use by both the school district and entire community.

Jerry Milstead is the project manager and P&C Construction and C&S Construction are the general contractors with the district. The architects are BLRB Architects based in Bend, Oregon with offices in Portland, Tacoma and Spokane.

Principal for Barnes Butte Elementary Jim Bates stated that he believes the most exciting change is what the design of the building provides—which is connectivity.

“This move brings stress for our students, families and staff. Change is unsettling,” he initially stated. “But this is change with excitement and hope. Everything about the school was sketched and put into reality with the educational process and community in mind. We will all experience the fruits of that labor as we begin to use it. It’s a beautiful building for sure.”

He added that the school is on schedule and within budget.
“The contractors, architect team and crew are constructing the facility as though it’s their own,” indicated Bates. “It’s been evident during the entire project that every detail matters. I have personally been in dozens of meetings where the largest or smallest mid-course decision is considered with care.”

Barnes Butte Elementary is just north of Laughlin Road, near the Iron Horse Subdivision. The proposed enrollment at its opening is 603 students. Ochoco Elementary School will close in the fall and after Cecil Sly Elementary is upgraded during the 2015-16 school year, Crooked River Elementary will also be closed. Barnes Butte Elementary will open with a student capacity of 700 and Cecil Sly will also have a capacity of 700 when opened in 2016.

“Very few people will ever know the amount of commitment that the contractors and architects have put into this project,” concluded Bates.

The school district began a facilities condition assessment in January 2012 and voters approved Measure 7-61 for $33,500,000 in May 2012. One of the selling points was the fact that the high school bond would be paid off in January 2014, and the cost of the new grade school would be at or below the rate of the high school bond. The rate that taxpayers will be paying for the new school remains flat after the old bond fell off one year ago.

In addition to the new school, the district is committed to doing an additional $15 million of improvements on other facilities in the district including Crook County Middle School, Cecil Sly Elementary, Powell Butte Community Charter School, Paulina School, Ward Rhoden Stadium and the current high school.

Crook County School District Maintenance Director Deen Hylton commented that safety is at the forefront, and additional security cameras are part of the upgrade. Each facility will be getting much-needed classroom modernizations and upgrades, including a new electric-access fence behind the high school, new track and seating facelifts at the stadium, and a new gymnasium at Cecil Sly.

St. Charles Prineville
Expected to stimulate development in Crook County community leaders, St. Charles Health System personnel and residents of Prineville broke ground on the new St. Charles Prineville Campus in April 2014. Replacing the aging Pioneer Memorial Hospital north of downtown, the $30 million new facility is expected to open this September. Interestingly enough, it will include a similar pod design used with Barnes Butte Elementary.

The design will allow the physician and their team to be at the center and the patients can see into that space. The new hospital’s location, along with its new philosophy on healthcare, is expected to be a much-needed economic development shot in the arm for Prineville.

Steve Forrester, Prineville’s city manager, understands the impact of the new hospital. “It’s been a lot of years of hard work and dedication to bring it to the point where we are now. If you look at the scope of development in Prineville, we have the data centers up on the hill next to the airport. But the intersection of Hwy 126 and Combs Flat road (site of the new hospital) is the busiest intersection in our community.”

Large and growing residential developments both south and north of the new hospital make the site very desirable for future commercial development. Add to this the 2015 opening of a new $18 million elementary school north of the hospital and the east side of Prineville is clearly primed for growth.

“Making this new hospital happen here brings city infrastructure out this way. We have a number of homes here that aren’t on city water or sewer and this development is going to bridge that gap and make a big difference on this end of town,” added Forrester.

Josh Smith, senior planner with City of Prineville, understands what it takes to develop a large-scale commercial project. “It (St. Charles Health System) was really the only large commercial developer capable of building the infrastructure that was needed for the eventual build-out of the rest of this site. There’s plenty of acreage here to expand in the future.”

“We’re excited that this is the start of a new development here on the former Ochoco Lumber site, it has tremendous economic development opportunities and we’re proud to be able to lead-out on that for the community,” commented chief executive officer for St Charles Madras and Prineville, Jeanie Gentry. “We will move in September, completing transfer of inpatients September 21.”

The Prineville Campus’ philosophy on healthcare is going to be different, focusing on preventative care versus in-patient care.

“Healthcare is changing all the time and we we’ve got to change with it so that we can serve the people of Crook County. This new hospital is going to allow us to change our focus from in-patient sick care to out-patient well care, keeping people healthy,” added Gentry. The new facility’s design will reflect a focus on wellness and prevention.

The main entrance to the new campus is on the west side facing Combs Flat Road.

“The clinic is the first department patients will see as they come into the hospital through that entrance,” explained Gentry.

“There will no longer be a pharmacy in the hospital, but Hometown Pharmacy (who operates the current clinic pharmacy) will have a building near us on the Ochoco property.”

Gentry added that all the current doctors from the clinic will move to the new facility. “We also have two new nurse practitioners who will start around the time we move,” she said. “This will help shorten the wait for patients to be seen in the clinic.”

“It’s (the hospital’s design) focused on primary care. It’s about how to create space in a team environment with practitioners, behavioralists, with nutritionists — to really be thinking consciously about how to keep people well and how to give them the tools and mindset to keep themselves well. This reflects the whole change that’s going on in healthcare and I think it’s very special that one of our smaller communities is taking this on and pioneering this effort,” said Michael Curtis, vice president healthcare of The Neenan Company based in Colorado, the design and build firm for the project. The Neenan Company reported it utilized more than 30 percent local construction companies and workers. The main internal construction project manager is Matt Wycoff.

The new facility will be 60,000 square feet with 16 beds in individual rooms. Primary and specialty care clinics, an emergency department, lab, radiology, imaging and rehabilitation services are all part of the new facility.

“We believe the new hospital will provide better access to services without as many steps as in the old hospital,” indicated Gentry. “All the patient rooms will be private and larger than in the old hospital. We are very excited to use this building to provide even better care to our community,” concluded Gentry.

Dr. Laura Gratton, DO, medical director with the Mosaic Medical Prineville Clinic, is thrilled that the new hospital will be a huge upgrade from the present facility. “I feel we provide state-of-the-art medical care so now we’ll have a state-of-the-art facility to go along with it.”

In order to be more patient-focused individual physician’s offices have been eliminated in favor of central work and lounge spaces for the entire patient-care team. And there will actually be less in-patient space than in the existing Pioneer Memorial Hospital.

“Because our focus is going to be on preventative care the in-patient space is actually less than in the old hospital,” said Gentry.

Additional amenities will include a concierge-style patient greeting desk and a public area with a café, which may also be used for community events and gatherings.

Community leaders believe that the new hospital could be just “what the doctor ordered” in terms of new companies considering a move to Prineville.

St. Charles Prineville will have a Caregiver and Volunteer Celebration on Thursday, September 10. There will be a VIP Reception on Friday, September 11 and a Community Grand Opening and Celebration on Saturday, September 12.

“We are excited to introduce our new facility to the community,” said Christa Papke, community engagement manager, Pioneer Memorial Hospital/St. Charles Madras.

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