Construction progress on the bond projects for the North Powder School District is on budget and on schedule, according to district administrators and project managers.
The new Middle School/High School is completely enclosed, with walls and roofing complete. Joseph Hull, the project manager from McCormack Construction, said the schedule was geared to getting “weathered in” before snowfall and that has been accomplished.
Fully enclosing the new gym and getting the heating system operational is the next step. After the space is heated, the flooring can be brought in to acclimate before being installed.
All of the HVAC systems for the new school are being installed in the ceiling. According to the engineering firm, this will cause less obstructions on the roof, allowing a “cleaner” surface to allow for snow and water runoff. As part of the “green” state funds, solar panels are being installed on the roof – power from these will run all the LED lights in the building, with extra power generated sold back to the electric company.
The new school has 13 classrooms, plus office space, support services and staff spaces. At a construction meeting on Tuesday, September 25, Superintendent Lance Dixon said the classrooms will offer benefits such as the art room having the electric kiln located directly outside instead of across campus, access to water at science lab tables and a Home Ec/Life Skills Room that will be outfitted for all students.
The main entrance to the school is through the lobby, located between the new school building and the new gym. Security measures incorporated during the design and construction phases will make the new school safer. Doors will be accessible with key cards only and all exterior doors will automatically lock when they close. Front desk staff will have line of sight to individuals entering the main doors, and a secure vestibule features a double set of doors, with access granted only by the receptionist to the interior of the building. “Our goal is to make this one of the most secure schools on this side of the mountain,” Dixon said.
Construction of the buildings has utilized hundreds of employees, including many local subcontractors and vendors, benefiting the North Powder community. Hull of McCormack Construction said since the company has been doing projects for more than 80 years in the region, some of those on projects are second and third generation workers.
All those present at the district’s construction meeting in September credited the many months of pre-planning, cooperation between the engineers and construction managers and communication between the district and the involved companies for making the process go smoothly. “That has been the success of where we are right now, the pre-construction,” said Superintendent Dixon.