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.