Local Architects Upbeat About Coming Year



It’s been a challenging time for the local building industry. We once saw construction on nearly every corner but over the past few years the industry has looked to public buildings and some medical offices for its livelihood. The largest commercial building projects have been Facebook and Apple data centers, not requiring an architect.

The most notable public projects were the two Central Oregon Community College buildings, the Science and the Health Careers Buildings, significantly adding education opportunities to the region.

Several medical offices were constructed or remodeled last year including BLRB Architecture projects Bend Neurological Associates and Central Oregon Pediatric Associates, and Central Oregon Audiology by FAHR Associates Design Company.

BBT Architects projects include St. Charles Urgent Care Sisters, and Redmond Family Birthing Center and Emergency Department with Steele Associates Architects working on the St. Charles Building Improvements / Admitting Remodel.

And of course there’s the burgeoning local beer industry that added to the 2012 building jobs: Deschutes Brew Pub in downtown Bend was expanded and remodeled, Crux Fermentation opened with great fanfare and Worthy Brewery promises to be a showcase for brewing.

But now local architects are telling us they’re pretty excited about the coming year. And when architects have plans on the drawing board, then 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. “However we’re particularly excited to finally see once again a mix of commercial, custom residential and merchant housing projects ahead of us. This last year has definitely improved over the previous four years or so in terms of activity in the architectural service arena. From what we have seen recently and what we hear from others in the construction industry, we anticipate continued but moderate growth in 2013.” Jefferson County is one of the hot spots for construction with the new city hall opening and other projects in the works.

Last year the Indian Head Casino in Warm Springs at a cost of $13.5 million replaced the former venue at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort. Warm Springs also opened its new Telecommunication Building following an extensive remodel.

The $4 million Madras City Hall/Police Station/Public Plaza, designed by Steele Associates Architects and constructed by CS Construction, will officially open this month. The project was designed to reflect the history and future of Madras and to serve as a gathering place for the community for generations to come.

Donald Stevens, AIA Principal at BBT Architects, Inc. says there are a lot of promising projects coming up in Jefferson County, “As for exciting projects that we have in design I am particularly hyped about the Jefferson County School District projects, which should indeed affect that part of Central Oregon in a very positive manner as far as the economy goes.

“The performing arts center and the athletic complex have terrific potential for strong architectural concepts even with some cost constraints. This interests me not simply because the potential of BBT being involved in designing buildings with spirit, which is what differentiates architecture from bland soulless buildings. These two projects have the potential to elevate the character of Madras High School and instill high values for the students, staff and community members.”

Stevens explained that at Madras High School the combination of Performing Arts Center and the Athletic Programs Building may seem to be an interesting marriage of space-use. The fact is that the site works well for both uses and by joining the spatial needs it seems to be 1 + 1 = 3. “This comes about in that some spaces can be jointly used, central mechanical/electrical systems can serve both uses in lieu of building two separate m/e facilities, and common walls can save on first costs as well as longer term energy costs,” said Stevens.

This project is in the schematic design stage and is presently at 36,000 square feet in size.

“Steele Associates has a nice variety of local work presently going on,” added Scott Steele, president and founder of Steele Associates Architects. “There definitely seems to be an uptick in activity which began mid to late 2012 and is still on-going. Hopefully this will continue and will bode well for our local economy. It’s great to be hearing positive comments and optimism again!

“As usual we have a variety of small retail, commercial, industrial and medical projects on the boards. In the mid-sized project arena we have some higher education projects with COCC, a large manufacturing remodel, a new office for the USFS in Crescent, some confidential high-tech work, Mt. Bachelor Memory Care and a beautiful modern style home in North Rim.”

Ambient Architecture has spread it wings to Texas with three different senior housing projects while designing several remodels in its home base in the Bend area.

Seth Anderson, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, principal/architect, Ambient Architecture noted, “As the local economy continues to recover, we’ve been fortunate to work with Central Oregon-based developers to design and manage projects outside the area, both in Oregon and other states. These projects create new architecture and design jobs in Bend, support our locally based consultants and engineers and bring income and resources into our community. We also believe our national experience benefits local clients who are building and developing in Bend.”

Rachel Stemach, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, principal/architect, Ambient Architecture added, “Our local clients are realizing the potential in Central Oregon’s existing building stock and the embodied energy these buildings offer for reuse. We’re seeing serious interest in 1960s- and ’70s-era buildings that are in need of significant mechanical and electrical upgrades, as well as accessibility improvements. Small business owners are also remodeling previously built-out tenant improvement spaces, so they are benefiting from existing structure, systems and interior finishes, which nicely reduce their construction budgets. It makes starting or moving a business in Central Oregon a little more affordable.”

Bill Schertzinger of Schertzinger and Party Architect LLC based in Redmond has refocused his practice during the downturn explaining: “In general, as far as my practice goes it might be a bit bleak because of the criteria of projects I wish to undertake. I have chosen not to pursue government funded projects and this can be limiting. For years I have been a proponent of smaller government. It seems quite hypocritical of me to complain about bigger government, higher taxes and more government regulations but then simultaneously go to the “government trough” and expect to be compensated.

“For me, I want to work for individuals and companies who have made their own money and want to use it for their own good. I do not want to work for folks who spend other people’s money and who believe that they know what is best for those they have taken the money from.

“This stance is sometimes painful when I see other firms enjoying designing projects that are interesting and with budgets that I can only dream of, but I’m afraid that I must be true to my beliefs.”

Regardless, some of the most exciting projects on the 2013 drawing board are public education projects including the The Redmond Tech Center designed by BBT Architects and about to be re-bid, following a series of modifications and some redesign of certain features. “The building is now at 34,000 square feet down from 37,000, which included a number of spaces that were beyond the original program, reported Stevens.

“The fact that this technical teaching/training center is to be constructed directly across from the exit of the Redmond airport makes this an important aspect of the positive conditions of the construction market here in Central Oregon.

“A major goal of this design to a visitor is to instill the idea of technical training that exists here at the Redmond COCC campus. This should occur simply by viewing the building as one departs from the airport.”

Stevens noted that over the last year the automobile industry has been the economic bright spot of the national economy and Central Oregon has experienced that as well. “Presently BBT Architects are in the design stages for dealership/service projects for both Robberson Ford/Lincoln/Mazda and Smolich Motors Volvo,” he said. “This will not only relate in greater sales activity but also in higher customer satisfaction through the positive character of architecture.”

Steele Associates Architects is also working with the private sector on design projects. “Non-Disclosure Agreements and requests are common lately and we are not allowed to mention specific names or details on some of our larger projects which include a new mixed-use development and a large medical project,” explained Steele.

“We also have some very large projects either underway or beginning soon out of area or state. The out of area projects stimulate the local economy by providing professional design and engineering jobs for us and our local consultants. So if we have continued success, as we have in past years, providing design services throughout the western/southwestern states, we will continue to support and catalyze the Central Oregon economy…just as it does when local manufacturers or others successfully export their products or services.

“If proposed future school bond measures are successful (and I really hope our community will support our educational system, as it’s critical to Central Oregon’s economy and livability) there will be significant design and construction projects to look forward to competing for,” concluded Steele.


2013 Architectural Planned Projects



Central Oregon Veterans Outreach Housing Remodel – 5,000 SF Contractor: TBD Completion Date: Spring 2013

18 NW Oregon Avenue (Office Building Remodel), 8,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: Summer 2013

Coffee Shop, 1,400 SF Contractor: Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company, Completion Date: Spring 2013

Professional Court Medical Remodel, 2,400 SF, Contractor: Kirby Nagelhout, Construction Company, Completion Date: Spring 2013


Best Care, 4,600 SF, Contractor: Compass Commercial Development Services, Completion Date: Jan 2013


Frazer Avenue Apartments (Multifamily Housing), 11,300 SF, Contractor: McCormack Construction, Completion Date: Fall 2013

Pharr, Texas

Assisted Living and Memory Care (Senior Housing), 75,500 SF, Contractor: Erwin Construction, CompletionDate: Winter 2013/2014

Independent Living Remodel (Senior Housing), 90,600 SF, Contractor: Erwin Construction, Completion Date: Summer 2013

Houston, Texas

Independent Living Remodel (Senior Housing), 26,700 SF, Contractor: Erwin Construction, Completion Date: January 2013

Katy, Texas

Independent Living (Senior Housing) Facility, 110,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion date: TBD



USFS Welcome Station, 1,500 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: July 2013

Robberson Ford/Lincoln/Mazda, Square Foot: N/A, Contractor: Kirby Nagelhout, Construction Company, Completion Date: N/A

Smolich Volvo, Approx. 1400 SF addition, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: N/A

Pilot Butte Rehab Center, 11,500 SF of interior remodel, Contractor: Kirby Nagelhout, Construction Company, Completion Date: TBD

Mosaic Medical Bend, Square Foot: N/A, Contractor: SunWest, Completion Date: TBD


Madras Performing Arts Center/Athletic Facility, 35,000 SF, Contractor: Skanska USA Building, Inc., Completion Date: Aug 2014


COCC Technology Center, 34,237 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: June 2014

Mosaic Medical Redmond, Approx. 3,500 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: May 2013

Warm Springs

Warm Springs K-8 School, Approx. 80,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: Aug 2014

Hood River

Hood River Cold Storage, 19,700 SF, Contractor: Griffin Construction, Completion Date: March 2013


Interpath Laboratory, 33,400 SF, Contractor: WC Construction, Completion Date: December 2012

Pasco, Washington

West Pasco Library, 6,900 SF, Contractor: WC Construction, Completion Date: March 2013


BLRB Architects


Bend Neurological Associates Building, 6,000 SF, Contractor: CS Construction, Completion 2013

Bend Diner, 2,000 SF, Contractor: CS Construction, Completion 2013

Bend Senior Center Facility Study, SF TBD, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2013

Abbott Residence, 2,500 SF, Contractor, Judson Construction, Completion 2013

Neff Retail, 8,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2013


Deschutes County School-Based Health Clinic, 2,500 SF, Contractor: CS Construction, Completion 2013

Sisters Affordable Housing, 26,000 SF, Contractor: SunWest Builders, Completion 2013

Village at Cold Springs Triplexes, Contractor: Hayden Homes, Completion 2013


Crook County School District Facilities Study, SF TBD, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2013


Deschutes County Redmond Offices TI, 40,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2013

La Pine

Little Deschutes Lodge Senior Afford Housing, Ph II, 26,000 SF, Contractor: SunWest Builders, Completion 2013

Regional Projects

Chinook Middle School, Bellevue, WA, 143,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2014

Renton Early Childhood Learning Center, Renton, WA, 68,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2013

Washington Elementary Hist Renov/Add, Tacoma, WA, 60,400 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2014

Naselle-Grays River K12 School Modern, Predesign, Naselle, WA, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2015

Lacey Senior Center Expansion, Lacey, WA, 5,400 SF, Contractor: Jones & Roberts, Completion 2013    

Touchet Secondary School Modern, Predesign, Touchet, WA, SF / Contractor: TBD, Completion 2015

Genessee Hill Elementary School, Seattle, WA, 87,370 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion 2015

Roos Field Mod/Exp, Eastern Washington Univ, Cheney, WA, SF & Contractor: TBD, Completion 2015

Walla Walla High School Modern, Predesign, Walla Walla, WA, SF & Contractor: TBD, Completion 2015




Industrial and Showroom Tenant Improvement, Bend, 18,000 SF, Contractor – TBD, Completion 2013

NorthWest Crossing Custom Residence, Bend, 2,000 SF, Contractor – TBD, Completion 2013

Commute Options Pro-Bono Design, Bend


Visioning Study – Confidential, Redmond

Out of the Area

Retail Tenant Improvement Design, Portland, 1,500 SF, Completed 2012




New Bank Branch, 2,000 SF

Auto Dealership Addition / Remodel, 7,200 SF

Commercial Center, Approximately 20,000 SF

Residential Development, 5+ acres

Broken Top Custom Residence, 3,000 SF

NorthWest Crossing Custom Residence, 2,100 SF

Tetherow Custom Residence, 2,800 SF

Black Butte Ranch Custom Residence, 4,500 SF

West Hills Custom Residence, 2,400 SF

Custom Residence Addition / Remodel, 2,500 SF


Tetherow Crescent, custom home

Shevlin Park Villas, NorthWest Crossing home.



Milton Freewater Head Start, 5,000 SF, Contractor: TBA – Estimated Completion Date: August 2013


Cow Creek Health and Wellness Center, 27,000 SF, Contractor – UIUC (Owner), Estimated Completion Date: April 2013


Millers Landing, 4.7 Acres, Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2013

Pine Nursery Park, 159 Acres, Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2013

Central Oregon Community College Student Housing, Team project with Mahlum Architects, Estimated Completion Date: TBD

Deschutes Co. Annex, 11,245 SF, Estimated Completion Date: Winter 2013


Brookside Apartments, 28,080 SF, W.C. Construction, Estimated Completion Date: Dec. 2013

Rose Court Apartments, 28,212 SF, W.C. Construction, Estimated Completion Date: Dec. 2013


Richland Senior Housing, 11,340 SF, Wellens Farewell Construction, Estimated Completion Date: March 2013

Redding, CA

Fairfield Marriot, 937 SF, Estimated Completion Date: May 2013




New 500 Bond, 205,000 SF/200 units, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: TBD

Confidential Mixed-Use, 205,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: TBD    

Mt. Bachelor Memory Care, 30,000 SF, Contractor: SunWest, Completion Date: TBD

COCC Grandview Remodel, 6,160 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: TBD

SCMC PES Remodel, SF N/A, Contractor: HSW, Completion: 2013

North Rim Residence, 3,600 SF, Contractor: RH Construction, Completion: 2014

Bend Spine & Pain, 2,170 SF, Contractor: Kirby Nagelhout, Construction Company, Completion: 2013

Retail Shop, 1,700 SF, Contractor: Steve Keeton, Completion: 2013


Aviation Building, 64,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: 2013

Madras City Hall & Police Station, 15,000 SF, Contractor: CS Construction, Completion Date: Jan 2013


COCC Veterinary Tech, 5,500 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: TBD

Manufacturing Facility, 28,500 SF, Contractor: SunWest, Completion Date: 2013

Retail Building, 9,315 SF, Contractor: SunWest, Completion: 2013

COCC Bldg. 1 Addition, 9,000 SF, Contractor: Kirby Nagelhout, Construction Company, Completion: 2013

Medical Suite, 1,750 SF, Contractor: SunWest, Completion: 2013


USFS Crescent, 17,400 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: 2014


GSA Building Remodel, 10,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: TBD


FedEx, 62,000 SF, Contractor: TBD, Completion Date: 2014


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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