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July 23, 2020
May Street Elementary School
Location: Hood River
Contractor: MCG Commercial
Architect: Opsis Architecture
Team: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; Laborers International Union of North America Local 737; Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters; GTS Interior Supply; Knez Building Supplies Co.; Spears Construction Supply; Armstrong World Industries; CertainTeed Gypsum; Georgia-Pacific
The big story with this project is the comeback of MCG Commercial after the passing of its founder, Douglas McClain.
Deciding to rebuild the company, his wife, Debbi McClain, took a risk and relocated the warehouse to another location in Clackamas and kept the 20- (now 50)-plus crew and staff on board. When the May Street Elementary School project emerged as a possibility, the company stepped up and bid with Kirby Nagelhout as general contractor and won.
The 12-month project challenged the crew to work through waist-high snow and single-digit temperatures on Hood River, with no roof and steel studs frozen to the ground. Warm coats and hot coffee kept crews going through a tight schedule.
May Street Elementary is a mixture of brick, metal and cement panels, glass walls and beautiful wood overhangs. A metal/brick panel transition required a free-floating soffit and attaching a 25-foot wall beneath. Framing had to be done before the roof was installed.
All of this took planning and precision on the part of the crew. As Debbi McClain said, “The May Street project brought MCG Commercial alive. It changed our lives and moved us into a lasting relationship with this industry so that we can continue providing excellent work like May Street.”
Judges’ comment: “The construction team endured 3- to 4-feet of snow, ice, and complex seismic framing requirements to complete this wonderful exterior a mixture of metal and cement panels, glass, and brick walls with beautiful wood overhangs. Students in Hood River are going to enjoy their stunning new school for many years.”