Oregon / SW Washington Chapter

The geographic area served consists of the state of Oregon and the area of Southwest Washington.

Region / Chapter Member Care Manager: Donna Robinson, CMM, CMP

Virtual or In-Person Tour and Happy Hour

January 25, 2022
4:00 pm Pacific

Kalama Middle School

548 China Garden Road
Kalama, WA 98625

New Urban HS
New Urban HS
New Urban HS
Kalama Middle School is the first intentionally separated middle school for Kalama School District. For the District and community, it was important that the new middle school paid homage to the historic 80 year old high school while also having its own unique identity. It was equally important that it had a similar aesthetic and language as the elementary school that was completed and occupied in 2020 to give a cohesiveness between a North and South Campus. Adjoining an existing gymnasium on site, the new middle school shares a library and commons space with the high school.

The new middle school is organized by two small learning communities. These learning communities utilize virtually every square foot to learning. A learning commons with a small group room and teacher planning binds the classrooms together and provides ample opportunity for personalized learning. Transparency between these programs was essential to their successful utilization.

Kalama is steeped in a history intertwined with shipping, logging, and the railway. Unofficially incorporated on November 29, 1871, it became the terminus to the Northern Pacific Railway from Goble, Oregon. It served as the terminus until 1874 when the Northern Pacific Railway moved its headquarters to Tacoma. The railway built a dock and a sawmill and other amenities important to a town on the cusp of development. Soon after completion of the rail in 1871, Kalama’s town motto became “Rail Meets Sail”. To honor to this rich history, the new middle school’s materiality, structure, and form draws from the iconography associated with it. Steel columns at the entry canopy loosely play on the railway trellises that are critical to the railway infrastructure. They are also reminiscent of old boxcars. Cast concrete benches abstractly replicate cast moorings as a nod to the shipping industry.

Learning Objectives:
  • Create a sense of place in a new building that is informed by broad stakeholder engagement.
  • Plan a learning environment that is easily secured while still welcoming.
  • Create contemporary learning environments that support multiple modalities of learning.
  • Design a learning environment that passively supports emotional and social well-being.

Project Team:
Architect of Record: BLRB Architects
Landscape Architect: Cardno
Structural Engineer: PCS Structural Solutions
Electrical Engineer: Sazan Group
Civil Engineer: Humber Design Group
Contractor: Emerick Construction
Owners Representative: Construction Services Group
Specialized Consultants:
   Acoustical/AV: Stantec
   Food Service: Halliday Associates
   Cost Estimating: Robinson Company
   Survey/Hazardous Mat: PBS Engineering and Environmental
   Geotechincal: Geoengineers
   Hardware: Allegion

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Hybrid Tour
Kalama Middle School
548 China Garden Road
Kalama, WA 98625
4:00 – 4:15 pm Introductions and brief description at Kalama MS Commons
4:15 – 4:45 pm Tour the middle school
4:45 – 5:00 pm Tour HS STEM space and CTE
5:00 – 5:30 pm Tour the elementary school (for those interested)
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Happy Hour
McMenamins Harbor Lodge
215 Hendrickson Drive
Kalama, WA 98625

Members: Free | Non-members: $20

In-person: masks are required while on campus. If you register for in-person, you will not receive a link to join virtually.

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2022 Annual Regional Conference

Heroes Within Us April 28 – May 1, 2022
Heroes Within Us
The Nines
525 Southwest Morrison Street
Portland, OR 97204
Click here for more information and to register for the conference.


Mentors Needed

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.

Upcoming Events

January 25, 2022
Kalama Middle School Tour and Happy Hour

April 29 – May 2, 2022
Pacific Northwest Regional Conference
Portland, OR

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2021 Scholarship Winners

Hannah Lee Hannah Lee
“I am so thankful that I have received the A4LE OR/SW WA Chapter Scholarship! This award will financially support me as I further my education and grow as a student. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that this scholarship has given me!”

Kaelan Anderson Kaelan Anderson
“I would like to thank the Association for Learning Environments Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter committee for awarding me with this generous scholarship. It is an honor to be supported by an organization that strives to better my community. I am excited to attend the University of San Diego this fall. This scholarship will help offset tuition costs in my first year. I plan to study computer science and pursue a career as a software engineer. I have a career goal of developing software that positively contributes to society. It is a privilege to have this opportunity, and I am grateful that my hard work has been recognized.”

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October 18, 2018
Facilities Matter Presentation »
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