Following an Oct. 5 symposium to gather ideas for helping Columbia River High School overcome its facility-related challenges, planning teams of staff members and architects translated the key themes into three architectural concepts and designs.
The following illustrations are artistic conceptual drawings only. They do not reflect final school design plans.
The reimagined facility capitalizes on the strength of the community and the natural beauty and bounty of the Northwest to inspire creativity; provide opportunities for authentic research and problem-solving; and deliver equity in access to an active, healthy lifestyle.
The new science classroom and lab space give all students access to a modern lab and personalized learning and instruction areas. The area also is designed to create connections between scientific disciplines.
Current classrooms are repurposed into premier art instruction spaces and design and display areas that connect with the outside. Additional seating in the existing performance center enhances access to the performing arts.
Finally, a renovated stadium with added fitness and health facilities expands opportunities for students and the community. The redesigned back fields include a softball diamond and improved practice space. The turf field provides opportunities for all teams to play at the school.
The concept also improves the safe and efficient flow of students throughout the campus, enhances community access and addresses the 21st-century safety challenges existing in a 20th-century school.
Curricular areas are grouped for better student and teacher collaboration. The arts and sciences benefit from updated classrooms with new labs, research areas and makerspaces.
New collapsible seating in the Black Box better accommodates performance needs.
Adjacent to the refurbished, expanded stadium, a building addition contains classrooms; health and wellness facilities; and a music, choir and band room.
A new glass exterior spans the length of the west side of the existing building. This space houses a gallery of student work and serves as a hallway. The existing courtyards are purposeful learning areas that also provide connections with nature.
Where possible, inside classroom windows open to outside gardens, allowing for natural lighting and an outside-in feel.
In addition, the stadium field is covered with turf and accommodates soccer; softball is played onsite in the back fields; and there are additional tennis courts.
To meet these goals, the school will adapt to the diverse needs of teenagers. In addition, this concept provides collaborative, flexible and transparent learning spaces; equity in the use of athletic and activity space; areas for displays of student art and other products; improved transportation and transitioning areas so that vehicles and pedestrians can safely enter and exit the school as well as move within the campus smoothly; increased opportunities for including the landscape in the learning process; and consistent, intentional ways to share work and achievements with the school’s stakeholders.
The planning teams presented their ideas to the school’s staff and the community to gather additional feedback. An extensive review and ongoing planning will assess feasibility and affordability and hone the concepts into more detailed plans. To stay up to date with the latest Columbia River High School project information, subscribe to the Re: Schools e-newsletter.
Want to comment on the three design concepts? Take a short survey to provide your feedback.
If approved by the district’s board of directors and local voters, a property tax measure in the form of a capital bond could provide funding to rebuild or upgrade every school in VPS.
The bond measure likely would appear on the February 2017 special election ballot and would require a supermajority of 60 percent voter approval to pass. Estimated rates will be available in November 2016, pending the VPS board of directors’ approval of the bond amount.
The community last approved a bond measure for VPS in 2001. That bond helped replace or build Eisenhower, Franklin, Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Sarah J. Anderson and Washington elementary schools and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.