The build comprised innovations and modernization to allow more efficient learning spaces and campus access including the two-story frames
Vancouver Public Schools’ envisioned approach of a side-by-side, dual school campus for elementary and middle school students is now a reality. The complete rebuilds of Marshall Elementary and McLoughlin Middle schools include a centralized, linked building for shared services and two connected classroom wings at each school, with all buildings created to provide ample flex spaces, skybridges and courtyards linking to the standalone building wings.
“The VPS design process engaged students and parents, teachers and staff members, and our greater community in envisioning what is possible for their new schools and then making that dream a reality,” said Jeff Snell, Vancouver Public Schools superintendent. “The result is two schools serving the unique needs of their integrated, yet separate, communities. We are grateful to Skanska and to LSW Architects who partnered with us in this work, and our local voters who made these schools possible.”
“The key priorities of this combined project were to build healthy and environmentally-responsible schools with optimized, flexible learning and social environments,” said Todd Predmore, Skanska vice president and account manager for Oregon and Southwest Washington operations. “We constructed the buildings with our eye toward space flexibility, sustainability and carbon reduction, and structural resiliency.”
Construction materials used were driven by the desire to include exposed natural and sustainable finishes including inlaid cross-laminated timber for the suspended flooring and glulam wood beams and columns. The design also incorporated steel columns, tilt-up concrete walls and exposed, sealed concrete floors. Materials and design were completed according to the mandated Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol, the state’s green building guide for the construction of high-performance schools.
Construction feats included the installation of six 70-plus foot beams along the ceiling spanning above the McLoughlin commons area, showing impressive scale. Also, the library was constructed in the common area, with large, south-facing windows to make optimal use of natural light. A glass wall divides the elementary and middle school media center.
The build comprised innovations and modernization to allow more efficient learning spaces and campus access including the two-story frames, sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials as visible structural elements and opportunities for open and multi-use spaces for projects and hands-on learning. Other upgrades include a centralized kitchen and HVAC systems, separate commons areas, outdoor learning spaces between classroom wings, secure and controlled access into each school and between the schools, and new fields and athletic spaces with a rubberized track.
The connected structures with shared and separate spaces provide a progressive learning environment for elementary and middle school students, showcasing an innovative approach combined with community-minded budget considerations. The new build also features a media center that can be divided into two smaller spaces or used as a single, larger space for community events. Additionally, the schools’ new Family-Community Resource Center will serve to support and engage students and families.
The project was funded through a 2017 voter-approved, $458 million bond that ultimately financed remodels, expansions, upgrades, improvements and new construction at 28 schools within the district.
Nearly three years ago, Vancouver Public Schools celebrated the groundbreaking for a new Marshall Elementary and McLoughlin Middle School. The vision to join two buildings with a common wall exemplifies the school communities within. George C. Marshall Elementary School was 59 years old, originally erected at its present site in 1962. Dr. John McLoughlin Middle School reached its 65th year, having been built in 1956. Each school over time has undergone multiple improvements and additions.
Take a virtual tour of the schools’ combined design here.
Skanska is a leading global construction and development company. Its local operations comprise the Oregon and Southwest Washington regions, earning revenues of $877.6 million in 2020 and employing more than 350 workers. The 2020 combined Oregon and Washington gross revenues totaled $1.51billion.
Information provided by Vancouver Public Schools.