W.S. K-8 Academy near finish

New $21.5 million school


Photo Credit: HOLLY M. GILL - The new playground equipment at Warm Springs K-8 Academy, located on the east side of the school, has rubberized mats underneath, and beautiful views of the surrounding mesas above.When school starts on Sept. 9, Warm Springs kindergarten through eighth-grade students will step into a brand new school.

The 82,000-square-foot, single-story Warm Springs K-8 Academy was substantially completed by general contractor Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co. on Aug. 1, and turned over to the district.

Located at 50 Chukar Road, off Tenino Road in Warm Springs, the school is built to house up to 650 students from kindergarten through eighth-grade. Darryl Smith, director of operations for 509-J, said there will be about 630 students when the school opens.

Photo Credit: HOLLY M. GILL - The new gymnasium features a logo of the school's mascot - an eagle. The gym is set up so that an automated divider can descend from the ceiling to separate the large gym into two smaller gyms.
Built in the shape of an H, the school has four wings: the commons/cafeteria, music room and gymnasium on the southeast side; the sixth- through eighth-grade wing on the southwest side; the third- through fifth-grade wing on the northwest side; and the kindergarten through second-grade wing on the northeast side.

The main entrance to the school, on the west side of the building, is situated between the third- through fifth-grade wing and the sixth- through eighth-grade wing.

A total of 39 parking spaces will accommodate parents and visitors entering through the main entrance on the west side, while another 100 spaces on the east side will be used for event parking.

Photo Credit: HOLLY M. GILL - The east side of the new Warm Springs K-8 Academy, with the commons/cafeteria, and the kindergarten through second-grade wings, looks out onto the new track and football field. Buses will enter from Tenino Road and drop students off at the cafeteria before school for breakfast.Buses will enter through the fence on the east side of the building and drop students off near the commons/cafeteria area for breakfast, Smith said.

A design in the commons' Marmoleum flooring — made of natural and sustainable materials — represents the Columbia River, with its tributaries flowing into it.

From the commons, the students can go to the music room, gym, padded multipurpose room, or locker rooms in the same wing, or down the main hallways to their classrooms.

The large gymnasium, which has low-maintenance maple flooring, prominently features traditional Native American artwork by Foster Kalama. With the swipe of an ID badge, a coach will be able to open or close blinds, lower a wall to divide the gym in half, and change the configuration of the basket ball hoops from one on each end to two on each side.

Outside the gymnasium, on the east side are the swings and playground equipment, with rubberized mats beneath them, and six baskets with asphalt underneath for shooting hoops. Workers had not yet finished a grassy play area which will also be available for physical education classes.

The football field and track, with "WARM SPRINGS" written in large letters, as well as a storage building and restroom, are also located on the east side.

On the south-facing roof of the building, an 80-kilowatt solar panel system is already generating power for the building. Jim Manion, general manager of Warm Springs Power Enterprises, who was touring the facility last Friday, said that the system is capable of generating 80 kilowatts of power each day.

"It would probably offset upwards of 25 percent of the load of the building," he estimated.

This week, according to Jason Terry, project manager for Kirby Nagelhout, the company expects to cross all remaining items off their "punch list," and ensure that the new owner knows how to maintain the facility.

A subcontractor has been training maintenance staff in security, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and fire alarm controls.

"It's gone well," said Terry, noting that the contractor broke ground June 24, 2013, and will have the project completed in just over 13 months — "exactly what we anticipated."

The project has employed about 500 people, with peak employment of about 120. "The last two weeks were the busiest," he said.

The school district and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, partners on the project, emphasized employing Native Americans on the project.

"There were over 25 percent Native Americans (employed) on the project," said Smith. "At one time, we were over 57 percent."

"Everything is high-efficiency, low-energy," added Smith.

Many of the teachers were back to school this week for two weeks of optional training that started on Monday. Teachers will also begin the process of unpacking materials for their classrooms before tours and open houses get underway. Kindergarteners are scheduled to tour the school on Monday, Aug. 18, from 9-10 a.m.

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, the school district and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will hold a ribbon-cutting for the new facility at 10 a.m., and a back-to-school open house and barbecue is set for Thursday, Sept. 4, from 2-4 p.m. Students can pick up information packets at the open house, and meet their teachers before school starts Sept. 9.

Overseeing the new school will be Principal Glenna DeSouza, and assistant principals Diane Dominiak and Chris Wyland.

For more information, contact the school at 541-553-1128.




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