Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Construction Update 8.4.21

Our contractors have been able to maximize the good weather with pours of concrete around the exterior of the building creating new plazas for pedestrians. Furniture, fixtures and equipment are being delivered and assembled. The gym floor has been sanded down to bare wood and is now in the process of being stained and painted in preparation for a new finish. Interior spaces are in the process of being readied for the first day of school. We will be meeting Friday to confirm areas of the new building that will be ready for occupancy. 

Some of the areas that will continue to have construction are the Family and Consumer Sciences classroom. This area is where the old office and student restrooms were. This class will meet in one of the science labs until the room is completed in October. Another area that will have ongoing construction is the area of the old classroom wing. This wing is nearly demolished and will be the site of a new outdoor learning and congregating area. There will be additional modifications that we expect will be ongoing through the end of December, however the project will be substantially completed in mid-September.

Having staff and students working remotely due to the pandemic and good weather through much of the project has helped us stay on schedule. However, supply chain challenges have nearly offset those schedule gains. Difficulty getting paint, doors, roofing materials, equipment and fixtures has delayed inspections and construction. As with any construction project, we are solving problems as they arise and are excited to deliver a high-quality building to the community.

We are tentatively planning the dedication of the new school in mid-September. The event will be on a Saturday to allow as many people to attend as possible. On August 27 at 6 p.m., officers from the Grand Lodge of Washington F&AM will be on hand to rededicate the cornerstone of the high school that was laid in 1974. Having the state officers perform this ceremony is an exceptional honor. We hope that you'll plan to attend.

As mentioned, the old classroom wing has been demolished. We have set aside a large pile of bricks for those who would like a souvenir of the old building. You will find the pile near the tennis court. Please note that there is no access for vehicles to load from this pile. This is intended to be an "all you can carry in your hands" opportunity. The bricks are rough and unsuitable for projects (unless you want to spend a lot of time cleaning off the old cement and cinderblock). Please, do not enter the demolition area. It is quite unstable and dangerous.

Here are some recent photos from the site:


Friday, April 23, 2021

Construction Update 4.23.21

 Construction continues on schedule and on budget. Students are occupying the new classroom addition and locker rooms, staff is utilizing the new office spaces and the new Commons is being occupied. These facilities have superior ventilation, light and technology to support student learning. In addition, they are more accessible and well-insulated. Sound doesn't permeate walls, water doesn't come through the ceiling and walls and there are more supports for the work that staff and students do at school. The shops are complete and await delivery of new woodworking equipment in the summer (bandsaw, planer, drill press, table saw, lathe, etc.)

However, the project isn't complete. Work continues on the new  kitchen which will be ready for inspection next month. With the exception of the dishwasher (new in 2016), all of the equipment in the kitchen is new. In addition, there are windows that look out on trees that give the  servery area a nice atmosphere. 

Casework is being installed in the Art and Science rooms as walls and floors are also completed in those rooms. Concrete was poured yesterday that leveled the sunken area of the old gym and where the old stage was. This will be the new library and the new Business lab. The final classroom to be built will be the Family and Consumer Science room. This will be placed where the old office and restrooms are currently. Unfortunately, our construction cameras won't be able to capture a lot of the work that we're doing between now and the end of June. In July, demolition of the old classroom wing will start and the site work for the new parking lot will begin. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Construction Update 3.26.21

 We've moved offices into the new building and have begun to use the new workroom space. Visitors will enter through the new main doors to the school and be greeted by office staff. The new classroom and office spaces are light and bright with plenty of room to maneuver. Ventilation and natural light are abundant. Reviews from students and staff are positive. If you visit, you'll notice what appears to be OSB on the walls. This was intended to be a protective wainscot. When selected, the building committee didn't realize it would appear to be OSB. We are in the process of identifying a replacement for that product.

Contractors have moved their focus to the Commons and the kitchen and expect those to be operational right after Spring break. The crew is working on installation of kitchen equipment and connecting all of the systems in both rooms including lights, Audio/Visual, plumbing, HVAC etc.

Contractors have also turned their attention to remodeling of the old Commons area. The stage is demolished and the sunken area filled in preparation for new concrete floors. The new wall for the Science lab is in progress. Work also continues on the music room. Family and Consumer Sciences classroom will be constructed in June/July.

The project remains on schedule with completion estimated in late August- just in time for school to open. The project remains on budget as well.

We plan to refinish the gym floor this summer. We will be painting new graphics and the floor will look like new. 

There is concern about what changes will need to be made to the school if the Legislature passes SHB 1356 and we can no longer use Indians as our mascot. Throughout the design process, we predicted that this was a possibility and made plans to only include those items that could easily be changed if necessary. While we will need to rebrand if this measure passes, we will not need to eliminate display of artwork that is so important to our history. For example, the portrait of David Ike will be prominently displayed. Ike's seat in the bleachers and the Remington sculptures will still be in our school. Removal of our mascot does not change our history. Toledo exists because of the interaction and relationships of Cowlitz people with Europeans who came here. There is no legislation that can erase that fact and our tradition of honoring First Nations should be maintained.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Construction Update 2.17.21

 Classes continue in the new classroom wing and we've hosted our first athletic event in the gym. Work on the administration hallway continues with drywall and painting underway along with other finishing work. Drywall and mechanical is going into the Commons and kitchen and new restrooms are nearly complete. We are expecting to be into the new administration hall by mid March and the Commons and kitchen right after Spring Break. Work continues in the shops with installation of new sinks and plumbing and the return of equipment from storage. We're waiting for new woodshop equipment to be delivered in  June and will continue to use the existing equipment until then.

Here are some recent interior photos (courtesy Ross Parker, IBI):

The rear hallway pictured above connects the new classroom wing to the new Library. The mezzanine stairs are from the mechanical mezzanine above the classroom wing to the roof. This is a much safer access than the previous ships ladders.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Construction Update 2.8.21

 Students occupied the new classroom wing of THS this week. They also got back into the gym and the new locker rooms. The response from the students was overwhelmingly positive as they now have sound-insulated classrooms with high quality projectors, sound systems and natural light. Students have been using the "Thinking Boxes" in the halls for special projects and to make up tests. We are still using the old classroom wing and offices while the new admin wing is completed (expected by late March). Art room and shops should be ready after Spring break. 

The roof is fully shingled and masonry is being installed. Final touches on the new Commons and Kitchen are underway. The next phase of work will be largely inside the old structure as demolition continues and renovation proceeds. Science labs, Library, Business lab, Family and Consumer Sciences are among the spaces under construction. In addition, a new concession stand will be built using a portion of the music room.

Recent photos:

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Construction Update 1.28.21

Next week, we will welcome the first students to the new THS classroom wing. Areas that are substantially complete are the main hall of the new classroom wing, the gym and the locker rooms. We are expecting to take occupancy of the  remainder of the classroom wing, the Shops, the office wing, the Commons, Spirit Hall and Kitchen by the end of March. Demolition of the interior spaces has been underway for a few weeks. Work will continue on the Art room, Science labs and construction in the old commons, kitchen and music room to begin in April. This summer, the gym floor will be stripped to bare wood, repainted and refinished to look like new. Bleachers have been installed in the gym mezzanine for additional seating and aisles and handrails will be added to the south bleachers to make them more accessible. The gym has received a thorough acoustic upgrade and does not echo as much as before. Fans should notice that announcements are easier to hear and understand.

The project remains on schedule and on budget. Demolition of the old classroom wing will begin in late June with exterior landscaping and hardscaping during the summer. The project will complete in time for school in September. 

Our thanks to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe who came to the building this week to smudge the rooms. We've arranged for the Grand Lodge of Washington F&AM (Masons) to rededicate the cornerstone of the building in August. (This stone was laid by the Toledo Lodge in 1975). A grand opening will be announced later in the summer.

Watch our Facebook page for pictures from the interior spaces of the school.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Construction Update 12.4.20

 Classroom Addition

The addition of classrooms is nearing completion. Currently, grid ceilings are being installed and connected to HVAC and electrical systems. Classrooms are painted and carpet is expected in two weeks. Corridors are ready for paint, HVAC and electrical. Lockers will be installed soon. Plumbing fixtures will come this month as well.

Locker Rooms and Gym

Tile in the locker rooms is the last of the major work that needs to be done in this area. After that, flooring and painting will finish off the area and make it ready for students in January. The gym is repainted, new lights, acoustic treatments and a variety of other improvements. New bleachers will be installed in the mezzanine and the weight room will be returned to it's place. A lift is being installed to assist wheelchairs and others to avoid the stairs to the mezzanine. 

Administration and Commons

This area is still in the framing and insulation stage. We expect sheetrock and paint soon. The kitchen is being framed and sheeted in. These areas are expected to come on line in February. The vaulted ceiling has beautiful wooden beams that will have a natural finish. The entry canopy and the decorative lodge truss will be installed in a few weeks- footings are poured and ready.  

Science, Art and Shops

These areas will be ready for students in January. The remodeled Ag classroom space and the refurbishment of the shops is nearly complete. The expanded Art room will be ready for students and will later include a new kiln as well as expanded storage and classroom space. The first of two new Science labs will be ready in January and will have fully functioning sinks, demonstration table, fume hood and clear access to the new outdoor classroom (to be constructed in Summer, 2021).

Most portions of the project remain on schedule and we are currently on budget for the project. If you are interested in a tour, please contact my office and I'll include you in the next available group.