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April 21, 2017

Camas kids will get a 'school in the country'

Images by Mahlum [enlarge]

Camas School District wants to replace Lacamas Heights Elementary at 4600 N.E. Garfield St. with a new school called Lacamas Lake Elementary, which will be built about two miles away at 1111 N.E. 232nd Ave. in Camas.

Bids for a general contractor for the $30 million project will be opened April 27.

Mahlum designed the 73,500-square-foot project as a “school in the country” to connect kids to the ecologically rich site that is home to wetlands, creeks, mature trees and views of Mount Hood across the Columbia River in Oregon.

The school's main entry will have a one-story facade with a drop-off porch and seating. A welcome center, administration, special-education rooms and an idea-maker lab will fill this south-facing wing. Behind, a two-story bar will connect the entry wing to classroom wings to the north. The connector will contain the music room, commons, resource room and gymnasium on the ground level; the second floor houses the media center.

Since the school will serve as a community resource, this organization allows easy public access while keeping student-only areas separate.

Off the commons, a courtyard with a large deck will have views of Mount Hood to the east. To the west, a smaller courtyard will have a kindergarten play area, landscape play features and an outdoor dining space.

Teachers and staff at the existing school helped design the new school to accommodate team teaching, with classrooms laid out in pairs and anchored by a shared learning area. Folding doors between the paired classrooms will allow small or large group learning.

Construction will start this summer and wrap up before fall 2018. The school's capacity will be 600 students in grades K-5.

Here's the design team: Robertson Engineering, civil; KPFF Consulting Engineers, structural; Interface Engineering, mechanical/electrical; 2.ink Studio, landscape; Rider Levett Bucknall, cost consultant; Stantec, acoustical; Halliday Associates, food service; Minister & Glaeser Surveying; and Columbia West Engineering, geotechnical.

For more information, see the notice in the March 23 DJC.

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