Barnes Butte Elementary Opens for 2015 School Year


Crook County School District’s New School Welcomed Students

Construction has completed on Crook County School District’s newest grade K-5 elementary school, Barnes Butte Elementary, and welcomes students and teachers for the 2015 school year.

On May 21, 2013, Crook County voters passed Measure 7-61 which approved a $33.5 million bond for construction of the new elementary school to replace Crooked River and Ochoco Elementary, which have since closed. In addition to the Barnes Butte project, the bond also allowed $15 million in funds for repairs and renovations at several District schools and buildings.

Bond Measure 7-61 was designed to support and protect education in Crook County. The bond provided funds for significant updates to maintain and preserve many of the aging Crook County School District buildings for future use. Leaking roofs and windows were replaced and heating was upgraded. Ventilation, electrical and plumbing systems were renovated. The bond allowed the District to make energy saving improvements. Safety improvements including health, accessibility and life-saving upgrades were another priority funded by the bond. Security systems, electrical wiring, intercoms, ADA accessibility and playground safety were additional improvements.

The new school resulted in the planned remodel of Cecil Sly Elementary. Ochoco Elementary is now closed and for sale and its 390 students and 50 teachers and staff have been split between Crooked River Elementary and Barnes Butte Elementary. Crooked River Elementary will stay open for one more year while Cecil Sly is renovated but will eventually be shut down. Some facilities will be repurposed for District use.

“Our next big project will be an extensive remodel of Cecil Sly Elementary. We desire to make an older building look new with modern features. Paulina Elementary is receiving an extensive remodel. We are also seeing project work at Crook County Middle School, Crook County High School and Powell Butte Community Charter School,” said District Superintendent Dr. Duane Yecha.

School Board Chair Doug Smith explained that all Crook County School District buildings have or will receive renovations.

“The middle school has had Asbestos abatement performed. A remodel of the entry way and major repair done to the gym floor and roofing. Work is progressing on flooring and classroom updates as well. The High School had a refinish of the gym floor and a remodel of the entrance to improve security. Tennis courts were renovated as well. Ward Rhoden Stadium was updated with new seating and the track surface has been replaced. Paulina was remodeled to improve student safety. Work on the classrooms is complete and work continues on a gym building. Powell Butte is receiving a new roof as well as many smaller renovation projects such as new doors and fire alarms. Cecil Sly is closed for the 2015-16 school year and will receive numerous repairs and upgrades with the plan that when it is reopened it will be on par with Barnes Butte Elementary,” Smith said.

The District met its goal of getting the majority of renovations done during the summer months resulting in only a minor disruption to classroom time.

The new Barnes Butte 73,000 square foot building features 25 classrooms divided into seven learning pods. Barnes Butte currently has approximately 660 students and the school has a capacity of 700 students. Cecil Sly will be able to accommodate another 700 when it is reopened in 2016. The consolidation of three schools into two involves a total enrollment of 1,100 students.

The seven learning pods are arranged by grade level with each classroom in the pod facing a shared learning commons that facilitates individualized attention and enhances student-teacher relationships. Each pod is identified by a unique name taken from geographical areas of Crook County and a color scheme which is anchored by a photo that depicts the name of each pod. The structure is multi-level, and includes a 6,000-square foot gymnasium for use by both the school district and entire community.

“We are very proud of Barnes Butte Elementary. It is a modern design featuring pods that keep learning communities together. It is designed to support enhanced technology such as Smart Boards and short throw projectors. The school was designed to be efficient to heat and by using two story design we were able to achieve a very efficient building both from a cost efficiency and environment friendly point of view. There is ample natural lighting in all the rooms and care was taken to have the playground have access to sunlight in the shorter winter days,” Smith said.

The upgrades to these Crook County schools is a sense of pride for the community. As Superintendent Yecha said, “My feel is that the community is encouraged and pleased by the new school and our project work. We all needed a lift out of the long recession and Barnes Butte Elementary has done that.”

Jim Bates is the new principal of Barnes Butte Elementary. He previously served as principal at Cecil Sly Elementary since 2007.

“It’s a privilege to have been trusted with this project. I have enjoyed the challenges of serving the needs of my previous assignment at Cecil Sly,” Bates said.

According to Bates, “Barnes Butte Elementary brings a sense of renewal for our students, teachers and the community. It’s a historical event with great significance. The voters looked at the bigger picture and made the decision to invest in our educational infrastructure. I believe that shows our families understand that a piece to economic improvement is to provide current and potential new residents with attractive and effective school structures.”

Bates was on the design team that unanimously selected the pod design after looking at models of existing schools.

“It fits the needs of today and is ready for the demands of the future. Education in isolation is a practice of the past. Connecting during the educational experience frequently is what our students need to emerge with the ability to share ideas and construct a successful global society. At Barnes Butte, students and staff mingle all day long. Every twist and turn of the campus brings people together. It’s efficient, beautiful and meaningful. The school-within-a-school concept comes to life at Barnes Butte. The pods make that happen,” Bates said.

Jerry Milstead is the District’s construction project manager and was responsible for managing both the design and construction contracts and budgeting for the Barnes Butte project.

For Milstead and the District, “low maintenance of building and systems; energy efficiency; state-of-the-art technology; and an excellent atmosphere for learning,” were the highest priorities in design features.

“We had an excellent team working on Barnes Butte and it was one of the best experiences of my career,” Milstead said. “The goal for the entire team was to build the best building possible on time and under budget.”

With the Barnes Butte project complete Milstead is now making preparations for future construction.

“Next year at the Middle School, the plan is to improve the heating and domestic water systems and updating of classrooms. Construction will start in October for the remodel of Cecil Sly Elementary School; the work is scheduled to be complete by September 2016,” he said.

When all the district renovations and remodels are complete, the District will have a, “quality rural school in Paulina, two modern elementary schools in Prineville, safety and security improvements at both the Middle School and the High School. Pioneer will be in a greatly enhanced facility. We also will have reopened Brothers School and made substantial repairs to the building used by Powell Butte Community Charter School” said Smith.

The Crook County School District aims to modernize and improve in order to, “compete with other emerging models of education and with the team currently in place there is no doubt we will make that happen,” Smith said.

Barnes Butte Elementary was designed by BLRB Architects based in Bend and the design team included Mike Gorman, Lee Fenton, Jim Landin, Tom Stark, Dustin Locke and Aiden Humphrey. BLRB was engaged by the Crook County School District in August 2013 and tasked to design a school to support 700 students in a flexible, personalized and responsive setting tailored to the unique elements of their educational program.

Their work included master site planning, educational specifications development, planning and design. BLRB is also serving the district for planning, design and completion of their capital bond projects at several other district facilities.

Design consultants include WHPacific, Eclipse Engineering, MFIA, Inc. and Halliday Associates.

“The Facility Committee determined the guiding principles for the school for which the schools success would be measured by. Then the group took tours of newer elementary schools in the Northwest to see 21st century learning in person. Staff, students, parents, teachers and the community were provided opportunity for input on the project and what was important to them,” explained Gorman.

“Using the charette process and referring back to the guiding principles the facility team was able to create a successful design that met the needs of the district and flexibility for the future.”

According to Gorman, the building was designed at 73,202 square feet and sits on a plateau overlooking the town with a 360 degree view of nearby buttes and canyons. Security was an important element of design with limited access and security cameras being important features. The administrative office was designed with a, “200 degree view of parent drop off, parent parking area, and bus drop off, as well as a security vestibule,” said Gorman.

Upon entering the school a, “two-story high and 15’-0” wide hallway has learning community display areas for each grade to display their work. This area continues into an open community living room at the core, from which you can access the library, cafeteria, gym, music room, stairs to the second floor and the Learning Communities. The hallway to the Learning Communities has a durable wainscot base and a 4’-0” continuous tackable wall covering,” Gorman explained.

“The exterior materials are very durable and low maintenance. The school is clad in combination of concrete masonry units and metal siding. The roof, fascia and gutters are all metal roofing and has gutters and snow guards. The main entry and bus entry are very welcoming with the use of heavy timber and cedar siding on the soffits.”

P&C Construction is a Portland-based company founded in 1961 with construction projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. They said they aspire to build relationships and work with local companies with pride in their hometowns to help change and become a part of the local landscape. P&C construction senior project manager was Steve Anderson and the construction project engineer was Ken Fehringer.

According to the P&C website, the $15.2 million project features a, “two-story facility include twenty-five classrooms, an over-sized gymnasium with bleachers, a full-service kitchen and cafeteria, a state-of-the-art library/media center, and an exterior of CMU, heavy timbers and metal panels.”

P&C teamed with CS Construction to provide, “on-site supervision and a commitment to providing opportunities for local subcontractors, suppliers and tradespeople.”

Anderson said that, “One unique aspect regarding construction was the collaboration between P&C Construction from Portland and CS Construction from Bend. This was not a formal partnership or joint venture. Rather it was a true collaboration between P&C and CS to seamlessly combine the proven experience building new K-12 schools in Oregon with the local knowledge and expertise found in Central Oregon. P&C completed all structural concrete work with their crews. CS completed all wood framing and interior trim components with their local crews.”

CS Construction is a Bend-based company that specializes in making construction a personal experience. In ten years they have completed over 440 projects and self-perform many trades with a full labor force of tradespeople.

The CS construction project manager for Barnes Butte was Eric Meeuwsen. He explained that the Barnes Butte School has, “wood framed construction for majority; tilt-up concrete for the gymnasium. This is an extra-large school to accommodate two existing elementary schools in town.”

The wall construction is a mix of traditional stick-built, concrete block and tilts, which are cast concrete panels poured on-site atop a concrete pad. The tilts are 36-feet tall by 24-feet wide and vary in thickness from seven to nine inches.

Barnes Butte Elementary School
471 Ochoco Plaza Dr, Prineville, OR 97754
Property Owner/Developer: Crook County School District, Prineville
Contractor: CS Construction and P&C Construction
Project Cost: $15,200,000 according to CS Construction
Project Cost: $17,000,000 according to P&C Construction
Square Footage: 73,113
Financing: Bond Measure 7-61 from the School District.
Project Manager: Eric Meeuwsen, CS Construction
Site Superintendent: John Lester, CS Construction
Senior Project Manager: Steve Anderson, P&C Construction
Project Engineer: Ken Fehringer, P&C Construction
School District Project Manager: Jerry Milstead
School Principal: Jim Bates
BLRB Architects: Lead Architects Mike Gorman and Tom Stark
Design Team: Mike Gorman, Tom Stark, Lee Fenton, Greg McCracken, Jim Landin, Mindy Lyman
Landscape Design: WH Pacific for Civil and Landscape
Structural Design: Eclipse Engineering
Mechanical and Electrical: MFIA
Kitchen Design: Halliday Associates
Subcontractors and Suppliers:
Over 80 percent of the work was completed by local subcontractors, suppliers and tradespeople located in Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes counties. Asphalt Paving: 7 Peaks Paving, Wood Athletic Flooring: A-Game Courts, Aluminum Storefront and Glazing: Alpine Glass, Doors/Frames/Hardware: American Direct, Fences and Gates: American Fence, Fire Protection: American Sprinkler, HVAC/Plumbing: Apollo Mechanical, Signage: Architectural Metalcrafters, Roof Hatch: Architectural Specialties, Gymnasium Equipment: Barclay Dean, Door/Frame/Hardware Install: Bend Commercial D & H, Ceramic Tile: Campbell’s Custom Tile, Membrane Roofing: Central Oreon Roofing, Polished Concrete & Epoxy Floor: CRJ Construction, Masonry: Davidson’s Masonry, Rebar (Furnish): Dixon Steel, Batt and Sound Installation: ECI, Fall Arrest System: ESG/ACME, Structural Steel (Fabrication): Fab Tech, Resilient Flooring and Carpet: Fabulous Floors, Site Electrical: Gowdy Brothers Electrical, Surveying: H.A. McCoy, Window Coverings & CG’s (Furnish): Integrated Interiors, Overhead Doors: Interior Tech, Concrete Place and Finish: LaRusso, Drywall/Acoustical Ceiling Tile/Acoustical Wall Panels: Moyes Drywall, Playground/Rubberized Play Area/Site Benches (Furnished): NW Playground, Folding Wall Pocket Tables: Palmer Hamilton, Steel Joists & Deck (Furnish): Prosteel, Site Concrete: Roger Langeliers, Caulking: Sawtooth Caulking, Earthwork: Shamrock Northwest, Painting: Shield Painting, Rebar (Install): SI Contracting, Sheet Metal: Smith Sheet Metal, Elevator: Thyssen Krupp, Interior Electrical: Tomco Electric, Landscaping: Verne Samples, Structural Steel (Erection): Wallace Steel, Casework: Westmark Products/Bend Cabinet, Marker Boards/Toilet Partitions/Toilet Accessories/Fire Extinguisher Cabinets: WH Crese, Roofing: Eagle Roofing, Building materials: Miller Lumber, Tilt Panel Hoist: Vernam Crane Service, Subcontractors and Suppliers, 7 Peaks Paving, A-game Courts, Alpine Glass, American Direct, American Fence, American Sprinkler, Apollo Mechanical, Architectural Metalcrafters, Architectural Specialties, Barclay Dean, Bend Commercial D & H, Campbell’s Custom Tile, Eagle Roofing, CRJ Construction, Davidson’s masonry, Dixon Steel, ECI, ESG/ACME, Fab Tech, Fabulous Floors, Gowdy Brothers Electrical, H.A. McCoy, Integrated Interiors, Interior Tech, LaRusso, Moyes Drywall, NW Playground, Palmer Hamilton, Prosteel, Roger Langeliers, Sawtooth Caulking, Shamrock Northwest, Shields Painting, SI Contracting, Smith Sheet Metal, Thyssen Krupp, Tomco Electric, Verne Samples, Wallace Steel, Westmark Production/Bend Cabinet, WH Cress


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