Garber strikes first blow on Culver project


Photo Credit: SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Culver Superintendent Stefanie Garber wields an excavator, under the watchful eyes of the demolition contractor, Keeton King.Operating the jaws of a 20-ton excavator, Culver Superintendent Stefanie Garber struck the first blow on Aug. 8, to begin the demolition of the old elementary school wings in preparation for new construction.

“I’ve had a five-minute lesson,” she said, before gingerly grabbing the controls in front of a crowd of teachers and staff gathered to watch.

After crushing a few windows and taking a chunk out of the roof, Garber turned the equipment back over to the crew from Keeton King Contractors of Sisters to finish the job, as the crowd applauded her efforts.

Project manager Brett Hudson said demolition of the old wings which housed third-, fourth- and fifth-grade would take two weeks, and most of the materials would be recycled.

Photo Credit: SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Modular classroom units have been moved onto the Culver school grounds for students to use during construction.“Some of the wood will be recycled or used for biomass, the concrete block will be used for clean fill material, the metal will be recycled, and we will repurpose the wooden glue laminates (large beams) by using them in the new building,” Hudson said.

CS Construction is the construction manager general contractor, and BBT Architects are the designers for the Culver School District’s projects, which include construction of a new elementary wing and remodeling at the high school.

In November, Culver School District 4 passed an $8.8 million bond levy, after three attempts, to tear down and replace two outdated elementary wings, improve the efficiency of the energy systems, make renovations at the high school, and pay off half of the $1.9 million debt for property the district purchased in 2008.

Four modular units, each containing two classrooms, have arrived and were being set up last week in a grassy area between the middle and high schools. During construction, the third- through fifth-graders will attend school in the modulars.

A high school health class and computer lab were also located in the wing being demolished. The health class will meet in an eighth-grade classroom, and the computer lab has been relocated to the K-2 elementary building, Garber noted.

Hudson said a construction committee has been meeting monthly and makes design recommendations to the school board members. “We will meet weekly once construction starts,” he said.

Photo Credit: SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Superintendent Stefanie Garber at the controls.“We did things a little differently,” Garber said. “We took a skeletal plan to all staff members June 9, to get their input, and June 16 did a community outreach for input. Then BBT Architects incorporated their ideas into the design.”

In addition to the modular units arriving, items already accomplished include asbestos abatement of the old wings before demolition, the installation of security alarms, moving of the computer lab, and rerouting of the data lines.

The construction committee recommended final design plans to the Culver District Board of Directors at its Aug. 11 meeting.