The West Linn - Wilsonville School District has opened two brand new award-winning schools in Trillium Creek and Lowrie Primary Schools. They are the recipients of the 2013 National School Board Association Exhibition of School Architecture Grand Prize and the 2013 American Institute of Architects - Committee on Architecture for Eductaion / American Association of School Administrator (AIA-CAE/AASA) Shirley Cooper Award.
Karina Ruiz,associate principal architect with Dull Olson Weekes-IBI Group Architects Inc., stands next to the rainwater collection tank at Trillium Creek Primary School, which recently won a design award.
The buildings, which opened last September, boast an array of environmentally conscious features - including a wind turbine and a rooftop garden - but what most impressed the NSBA jury was their ability to engage students.
"Truly a design that would engage and excite children, this building creates cohesive classroom neighborhoods organized around an open media center in the heart of the school," the jury wrote in its statement. "The richness of the plan is further enhanced by the creativity shown in developing the interior and exterior of the building with child-inspired level transitions, spaces and accent colors."
The fan-shaped window in the logo of West Linn-Wilsonville School District is emblematic of a district with strong historical roots that stands looking forward to the future. With the remodel of the district office, where that window logo has its origins, the central building is now set to lead the community for the next 40 to 50 years, said Tim Woodley, director of operations.
"(The window) has become the cultural emblem of the district. It really speaks to our deepest culture," said Woodley. "It's the people's building where they come to engage with the educational experiences. This is for the people, so we can respectfully serve them... and accommodate all their individual needs." The building, which was actually moved to the current location in 1896, got a major overhaul using the district's 2008 capital bond funds. The remodel should save the district on maintenance costs and utilities. The district spent just under $5 million for a complete remodel of the central office, which houses the superintendent, personnel, business, curriculum, student services (special education), instructional technicians and the school board room...
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The West Linn-Wilsonville School District covers 42 square miles in the south metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon. The district includes two towns, West Linn and Wilsonville, and a rural area of Clackamas County. The district buildings have a total of approximately 1.38 million square feet covering roughly 375 acres. The district is a K-12 public school system with approximately 8,300 students and over 400 teachers, and is once again facing capacity shortages due to continued growth in the District.
Facility improvements will be necessary to maintain their education programs' high standard of excellence, the District's trademark.
The School Board has developed a 4-year, $98 million bond to cover the building of two new primary schools, library/media additions, kitchen renovations, technology upgrades, deferred maintenance, planning and architectural design for the replacement of a primary school and site master planning for a future middle school, and athletic field improvements.
Creating and maintaining a quality educational environment is constantly challenged by enrollment growth, which has increased by 92% from 4,234 students in 1987 to 8,322 in 2007. To handle this capacity the Operations Department had to address potential issues and challenges with the current processes.
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District, www.wlwv.k12.or.us, Tualatin, Ore., recently approved a $98 million bond program to build new schools and renovate existing ones. This addresses a growing population that is placing great demands on the educational infrastructure in the district.
The four-year bond program will undoubtedly place great demands on the construction and renovation process, requiring much more control over documentation and change management. It is just the latest example of why construction technology is garnering greater attention at the owner level these days, as strict requirements call for more scrupulous control over the process.
Tim Woodley, director of operations with the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, discusses the district's success in passing bond measures.
The West Linn and Wilsonville communities have passed a number of bonds for their school district. What has been your role in building support for these measures?
Our district has a unique distinction in that we have a standing, school-board-appointed Long Range Planning Committee. This group of patrons came together in the 1980s to address issues related to a growing community and the district's interest in providing quality educational facilities. The committee has met regularly since then, focusing on various initiatives as directed by the school board.
They have developed and published a long-range plan for the school district that is routinely updated and shared with the two cities in our district, as well as the county, to help inform regional growth and clearly signal our future actions.
My role is to provide leadership and staff support to the Long Range Planning Committee. Through this effort, I have been able to take a broad look at district history and vision to gain a clearer understanding of our community and the school district's role in fulfilling its educational mission.
In this effort, short-term planning - 5-10 years - is an important component of the long-range plan. Since the late 1980s, our district has passed capital-improvement bonds every five-six years addressing growth, equity, safety, efficiency, and quality of facilities. Since I am in charge of all operational facilities, I am well aware of certain deficiencies, deferred-maintenance schedules, and other issues that design or redesign can remedy. This information is woven into the long-range plan through the committee in real time so community members have a deep understanding well in advance of capital-bond election activities.
Over some period of time, these details, along with needs to accommodate growth, are kept front and center so the information is well known and accepted and easily leads to preparation of components approved for capital funding. My role is to both explain these facility needs and sponsor them forward. As a full-time staff member, I act as an ambassador of the district mission by articulating in words and written communication this vision and the path to fulfilling it.
West Linn-Wilsonville School District - Department of OperationsAddress: 2755 SW Borland Rd. - Tualatin, OR 97062 Phone: 503-673-7995Fax: 503-638-9143