Among school construction projects May Street stands tall — but not alone

May Street Elementary, Jan. 10: In post-dawn light, a crew works at the connection of sectors D and F at the southwest corner of the new school project, facing 10th Street. Sector D is on schedule for completion June 25, as is sector E, aka The Commons, in the middle of the new school; sector F, in foreground, is scheduled for June 14 completion. By comparison, sector A at the northeast corner of the campus, is on schedule to be done by March 15. Weather permitting, look for roofing activity there this week. Occupancy will happen in July.

Pending School District bond projects include:

Mid Valley elementary seismic upgrades, summer

Pine Grove, miscellaneous improvements, summer

Cascade Locks Elementary school, summer

Transportation yard paving, spring and summer

Wy’east Middle School/Fairgrounds driveway, spring and summer

Additional projects under consideration: HRVHS engineering classroom, HRVHS additional parking, expanded roof and soffit repairs at Cascade Locks.

The skeletal appearance of the new May Street Elementary school has rapidly changed to where the shape and scale of the new building is more evident than ever.

Extensive activity is planned this week and next on the interior and exterior of the project. Plenty of brick, metal and sheathing is visible, but parts of the project will see a new surfaces that are evidence of the progress: Glass will soon be installed and roofing put in place.

Crews were scheduled to start roofing the building on Jan. 14 along Ninth Street.

“We’re looking at two days of weather where we can do this. We are really playing with Mother Nature,” said Jose Aparicio of the Weneha Group, which contracted with the district to oversee all bond projects. Aparicio updated the school board at its Jan. 9 meeting on May Street and a variety of upcoming projects.

“We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” Aparicio said.

“We will deliver what is promised and a few other things,” Aparicio said. “Overall, its going to be a great success.”

He referred in part to the accrual of a half million dollars from investment of bond funds, and the fact that the next major bond contract came in $300,000 under budget. That’s the $4.9 million upgrades to Parkdale and Westside Elementary, to be carried out in 2019-20.

The board approved the contract with Griffin Construction of The Dalles. Aparicio told the board, “This month is going to be a big one as far as being prepared for spring and summer.

“It will be a flurry of projects,” he said.

An all-new May Street school is being erected in the former playfield of the historic campus — a design that essentially flops its orientation: Where the building stands will be playground and the former playground is home to the new structure.

May Street is the main ongoing one by the District under construction bonds approved by voters in 2016, now that major new work is done at Hood River Valley High School and the district office complex on Eugene Street.

The Coe Administrative Center is complete and staff and students are moving into the neighboring Hood River Options Academy, set for official opening on Feb. 5.

Taking shape at May Street is the brick exterior of the new gym (officially sector H), which is one of the earliest sections to be complete, in early May.

Steel erection is nearing completion, and the most visible current work is metal framing and sheathing. Some of that shields the metal frame-up and other interior work.

The tall crane and boom is evidence of the second floor concrete deck pouring. The broad interior roof supports, known as glulam beams, are in place and among the most visible features. Meanwhile, as rain falls and freezing temperatures set in, crews are employing thick plastic and heaters to protect the beams as well as fresh concrete from the weather. Hood River County School District will take occupancy sometime in July, and demolition of the existing building will occur in time for faculty to move in in August and the start of school in September.

Elements of the old school, including gym bleachers and handrails that match those at Hood River Middle School, will be kept and employed in the new school.

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