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May 4, 2018

Renovation/Restoration • Oregon

Photo provided by NWCB
A $75 million remodel of Franklin High School in Portland included construction of a new arts center, gym and culinary arts building.

Franklin High School modernization and retrofit

Location: Portland

Contractor: Performance Contracting

Architects: DOWA-IBI Group, Sera Architects

Team: Armstrong World Industries, Chicago Metallic, CWallA, GTS Interior Supply, Hamilton Drywall Products, L&W Supply, Scafco Steed Stud Co., USG Building Systems, Valhalla Construction Products

Franklin High School opened in 1917 as the fourth high school in Portland.

In 2015, $75 million was set aside to remodel and modernize Franklin High. The project would include seismic retrofitting, abatement of hazardous materials, and construction of a new arts center, gym and culinary arts building.

From the beginning, the project was over budget, so the team had to be creative with alternative materials and labor-saving solutions.

The existing auditorium was converted to the new library with a radiused ceiling requiring custom adjustable connection clips. The new cafeteria was created in what was previously an exterior courtyard, and the outside masonry walls were left intact but framed for new windows with fabric-wrapped acoustical panels. Hanging acoustical clouds were suspended around an array of exposed mechanical components.

In the arts center, linear wood ceilings and walls required painstaking detailing to match edges and reveals. The large practice rooms required complex acoustical diffusers in the ceilings and on the walls. Smaller private rooms were built with two ceilings (one drywall and one acoustical), special framing and soundproof doors.

In spite of early delays, Performance Contracting was able to complete the project on time with minimal rework. About 25 percent of the scope was complete in the first six months and 75 percent in the second six months while meeting the 20 percent apprenticeship and 10 percent minority requirements. The project was finished beautifully and set the standard for other Portland school modernization projects.

Judge’s comment: “The meshing of century-old and brand-new products in a compressed schedule on a massive project is incredibly challenging. The intense weather conditions, including flooding, earned admiration from the judges.”

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