Virtual Chapter Tour
December 1, 2020
4:30 PM – 1 Hour
Gresham High School
Tour Guide: Richard Higgins
Whether or not they are landmarked, historic schools hold a special place in the hearts of the communities they serve, and there are many nuances to be considered in the decision to rehabilitate or replace these iconic architectural gems. The rehabilitation and reconstruction of Gresham High School (GHS), originally built in the 1940s, embodies a successful resolution of one of the key challenges for historic school rehabilitation: preserving community and architectural legacy while providing contemporary learning space that supports a 21st century curriculum.
Selective demolition and reconstruction of nearly 70% of the high school afforded the opportunity to create agile learning spaces and infuse multiple sustainable strategies. A multi-phased, 30-month construction schedule enhanced both operational and financial efficiency by allowing the 2,000-student body to remain on site and minimized the expense of off-site student and program relocation during construction.
The preservation and creative repurposing of historic features maintains legacy while breathing new life into what was viewed by some as simply "old". Monolithic statues of the Greek muses from the school’s facade, for instance, were carefully removed and restored, and now have prominence in a Muse Garden
, a courtyard that offers visual interest from the interior, and outdoor space for learning and reflection. Other architectural legacy features are infused throughout.
Learning and teaching are no longer confined by the rigid interior organization of an early 20th century high school. Now, flexible and adaptable learning spaces, light, open circulation, and multiple outdoor learning areas fully support GHS' contemporary educational program and greatly enhance interior environmental quality.
For school planners faced with the prospect of rehabilitating a beloved but outdated facility, Gresham High School illuminates the possibilities for providing the capacity, feeling and features of a contemporary, sustainable learning environment while respecting and preserving the legacy and character of a historic, much-loved school.
- Attendees will learn specific measures for sustainable design including Energy and resource conservation measures include a high-efficiency mechanical system, energy recovery air handling system, low flow plumbing fixtures and LED lighting throughout.
- Attendees will gain insight to how the facility design demonstrates Adaptability to Changes in Educational Delivery
- As an originally historic building, attendees will learn how the Architectural elements from the original school were salvaged and repurposed.
- Attendees will observe the innovative solutions to transforming the iconic building into one with light-filled spaces, social gathering spaces, a temperature-controlled environment, and views to the outdoors. Equally innovative was phasing construction across 30 months while students remained on campus.
Architect: BLRB Architects
Landscape Architect: Cameron McCarthy
Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Electrical Engineer: PAE
Civil Engineer: Humber Design Group
Mechanical Engineer: PAE
Contractor: Fortis Construction Inc.
Theater: PLA Design
Exterior Building Enclosure: Forensic Building Consultants
Interior Signage: Anderson Krygier, Inc.
Members: FREE | Non-members: $10
Must register and attend to receive AIA CEU (pending)
April 29 – May 2, 2021
Heroes Within Us
525 Southwest Morrison Street
Portland, OR 97204
for more information and to register for the conference.
Call for Heroes!
The Heroes within us theme of the PNW 2020 conference will highlight regional Hero stories from each Chapter. We invite you to submit individuals or groups who have done something extraordinary and made a difference in improving places where children learn. We are looking for Heroes in our schools, students, teachers, administrators, board members, parents, community members, AEC professionals, trades and product representatives. The 2020 conference will celebrate the advancement of education by the effort of many diverse people. Heroes will be featured on the web site and at the conference with social media and displays.
Click here to submit your Hero Today!
Would you like to share your knowledge of architecture, engineering, and construction with middle school students and helps shape their understanding of what our built environment in the future could be like? The Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter is looking for volunteers to be mentors for middle school students in the Metro area as they participate in the SchoolsNEXT Design Competition
, which challenges student teams to design their “school of the future”. Mentors will work directly with students and their teachers, and can volunteer for as much time as they are able. Planning, design, construction and operations knowledge in all fields and skills are welcome. The competition starts in Fall and concludes with the Chapter competition in March. This is a great opportunity to educate our sustainability leaders of the future! Contact Robert Allen
for more information.