Monday, February 23, 2015

Pursuing a Common Language

Attendees enjoy the 2015 C3 Conference trade show produced by CSI Willamette Valley Chapter at the Eugene Hilton (my photo)
Construction communication and collaboration was again the focus of the biggest design & construction forum on the annual calendar for the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute. The well-attended C3 Conference took place this past Thursday at the Eugene Hilton Hotel & Conference Center. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a terrific opportunity to learn, network, and celebrate. 
Like the 2014 edition, this year’s conference rewarded attendees with the opportunity to attend free educational seminars and a diverse product show. The organizers underscored the conference’s communication and collaboration theme by inviting everyone in the local construction industry to attend. It brought together the people who build our community—the architects, engineers, contractors, suppliers, owners, bankers, and others—to advance matters of common interest. 
Jointly hosted by AIA-Southwestern Oregon and NAWIC Eugene, C3 spotlighted a growing optimism for the immediate future. The focus of this year’s event was the “Projects in the Pipe Line” dinner presentation. It featured leading lights from four institutions responsible for a notable percentage of planned future developments: 
Eugene School District 4J
Roosevelt Middle School design by Mahlum & Robertson/Sherwood/Architects

Jon Lauch is 4J’s Director of Facilities Management. Thanks to the munificence of Eugene’s voters, Jon could happily report about the progress of several major new school building projects: 
  • Howard Elementary School – Currently under construction, the design by PIVOT Architecture along with DOWA-IBI Group is scheduled for occupancy next February.
  • River Road Elementary School – Also designed by the team of PIVOT/DOWA-IBI, the new school’s site package will be executed this coming summer. Following will be completion of the school gymnasium by Summer 2016, with all construction completed by Fall of 2017.
  • Roosevelt Middle School – Now ready for bidding, the new Roosevelt Middle School is scheduled to be ready for students by Fall 2016. The project is designed by Robertson/Sherwood/Architects (my firm) with Mahlum Architects of Portland.
  • Jefferson Middle School/Arts & Technology Academy – Rowell Brokaw Architects has teamed with Opsis Architecture of Portland to design the massive makeover of the existing Jefferson Middle School. Construction will begin in Spring 2016 with a targeted completion date of Fall 2017.
  • Gilham Elementary School GMA Architects is designing a new addition for the school.

City of Springfield
Simpson's mural in downtown Springfield (my photo)

John Tamulonis is the Community Development Manager for the City of Springfield. Self-deprecatingly, John opened his presentation by claiming the city has no shortage of plans but is short on funds to implement them. But what big plans they are! They include significant and very real projects by other public agencies and private businesses who call Springfield home: 

City of Eugene
New Eugene City Hall (by Rowell Brokaw Architects & Miller/Hull)

Denny Braud is the City of Eugene’s Community Development Manager. Denny started by highlighting the numerous projects developed in the downtown core in just the past few years and the very real renaissance they’ve spurred there. Some of the exciting downtown projects currently in the pipeline include:

In addition, the city expects numerous other projects to begin construction in the coming year, including:

  • Bascom Village (101 new units of affordable housing)
  • Turtle Creek affordable housing (20 single-family units)
  • West Eugene EmX extension ($94 million; service projected to start in 2017)
  • Public Works Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements
  • Eugene Airport upgrades (including a new baggage carousel and ticket counter modifications)
  • Hynix plant transformation into a multi-tenant data storage facility
Denny cited some notable statistics from the past year. The city issued permits for $338 million worth of construction projects in 2014, a 15-year high. There were 1,100 individual building projects, which required more than 51,000 separate inspections. There’s no doubt Eugene is on a roll with the promise of much more in 2015. 

University of Oregon

Price Science Commons, by Opsis Architecture

Chris Ramey, AIA, LEED Green Associate, is the University of Oregon’s Associate Vice-President for Campus Planning and Real Estate. Chris described an exciting variety of projects currently in the design stages for UO’s Eugene campus. These include the following large CM/GC projects (projections for when subcontractor bidding will occur are in parentheses):

  • New Residence Hall (February-August 2015)
  • Jane Sanders Stadium (April-July 2015)
  • Price Science Commons Addition/Renovation (April-July 2015)
  • Columbia 150 Lecture Hall Remodel (Spring 2015)
  • Bradford Building (Spring-Summer 2015)
Chris also described numerous smaller projects:
  • HVAC improvements at the Computing Center, Deschutes Hall, and various residence halls (Spring 2015)
  • Central Power Station Roof Replacement (February-March 2015)
  • Gerlinger Hall Complete Building Envelope Restoration (February-March 2015)
  • Campus Sewer Line Replacements (April-June 2015)
  • Knight Library Interior Reconfiguration (June-September 2015)
  • Onyx Bridge and Klamath Hall Lab Remodeling (Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall 2015)

Additionally, Chris invited everyone to attend the UO Reverse Vendor Fair, which takes place this coming Wednesday, February 25 at the Club room at Autzen Stadium. The fair is an opportunity to meet with UO and other agency purchasers, and learn how to do business and build partnerships with various university departments.

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What was perhaps most impressive about this year’s conference was how quickly it all came together. Big props to the members of the C3 committee, which included Steven Leuck, Alorie Mayer, Zach Rix, Tana Baker, Tom Deines, Linn West, Brian Hamilton, Jim Christian, Kristina Koenig, Loren Berry, Marina Wrensch, Greg Weimer, and Travis Sheridan (forgive me if I’ve failed to list anyone on the committee) for a job well done!

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