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May 6, 2022


Photo courtesy of Paul Adelman
Work at Leodis V. McDaniel High School included renovation of 130,000 square feet of existing space and a 170,000-square-foot addition.

Leodis V. McDaniel High School modernization

Location: Portland

Contractor: Performance Contracting

Architect: Opsis Architecture

Team: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters; Plasterers Local 82; CWallA; GTS Interior Supply; Service Partners; Spears Construction Supply; Armstrong World Industries; CertainTeed Gypsum; Hamilton Drywall Products; Scafco Steel Stud Co.; StructionSite

The Leodis V. McDaniel High School renovation and addition project was a renovation of 130,000 square feet of existing space and a 170,000-square-foot addition to the school that was built in 1957. This $202 million project for Portland Public Schools featured Opsis Architecture as the architect and Fortis Construction as the general contractor.

To create a welcoming environment, the common spaces of the school were opened and lit with a generous amount of natural light coming from great walls of windows. As light will accentuate any potential flaws in the finishes, it was imperative that the team frame the walls, soffits and ceilings perfectly, and then give them a glossy, smooth finish.

The main soffit in the cafeteria is angled on three axes with one junction point, so although a challenge, it turned out perfectly. The large skylights in the room offered the critical light challenge but were also finished beautifully. Finally, the corridor and stair walls were coated with smooth plaster to create a durable clean finish that shines in the critical light environment.

The large wood reflective panels suspended in the auditorium had to be constructed from curved framing and wood veneers on the ground, then scheduled to be the last item installed in the room because of other infrastructure needed for the ceiling area. By scheduling the reflectors last, the stepped concrete had been poured, so Performance Contracting had to use special extending lifts to install the panels. With proper planning, everything went smoothly.

Leodis V. McDaniel High School was the last project for Performance Contracting’s general foreman Ben Dominguez and taping foreman John Gauthier. After 30 years in the industry, Dominguez and Gauthier retired at the completion of this successful project.

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