Barnes Butte Elementary School Opens

The 78,750-square-foot Barnes Butte Elementary School for the Crook County School District recently opened in Prineville, Oregon. Upon passage of a $33.5 million capital construction bond in 2013, BLRB was engaged for planning, design and delivery of a new K-5 elementary school on an undeveloped site in Prineville, Oregon. Overarching goals were to provide small learning environments and flexibility of space that supports collaborative learning, team teaching and a variety of educational programs. Student safety, facility security, community after-hours use and operational cost-efficiency were additional guiding elements. Barnes Butte supports up to 700 students and offers flexible, personalized and responsive learning environments tailored to the unique elements of the district’s educational program. Our service to this client also included an additional $8M in capital facility improvements at several district facilities.

Ron Harpel Recognized for Community Service

The Southwest Washington Chapter of AIA has awarded BLRB Architects’ Ron Harpel, AIA, the 2015 Charles T. Pearson Award for community service.

The Pearson Award is given out every other year by the Southwest Washington Chapter of American Institute of Architects to recognize area architects who use their professional abilities in providing service to the community. The award is named after Charles Pearson, a Tacoma-based architect who, in addition to founding the Southwest Washington Chapter of AIA, was heavily involved with community service.

Harpel received the award as part of AIASWW’s 2015 Design Awards Gala, held November 4 in Tacoma. 

A principal at Tacoma-based BLRB Architects, Ron has served the community through a variety of organizations, including Metro Parks Tacoma, the Thea Foss Waterway Development Authority, Tacoma Arts Commission, Habitat for Humanity, Paint Tacoma Beautiful, Tacoma Public Schools’ Communities in Schools, AIA Southwest Washington, the Washington State University School of Design and Construction, among others.

Ron currently volunteers as a board member for the Thea Foss Waterway Development Authority and vice-chair of Metro Park’s Active Lifestyles and Community Wellness Advisory Committee. Ron also served as the lead advisor for development and installation of the City of Tacoma’s Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial, which stands today on Ruston Wa­y.

Leader Recognized for Contributions

Longtime BLRB employee and former principal of the firm, Dennis Kabba, CSI, CCS, will receive the J. Norman Hunter Award for construction document education from the Construction Specifications Institute at their CONSTRUCT 2015 Convention held this September in St. Louis. 

This prestigious national award is only given once each year to a CSI member for significant accomplishments in promoting, developing and implementing construction document education at “well above the norm.”

Kabba retired as principal for technical services from BLRB Architects in 2014 after nearly 30 years of service overseeing the firm’s construction administration and technical specification services. He is a past president of the Mt. Rainier Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute.

Oxford Hotel Receives Recognition

Designed by BLRB Architects, The Oxford Hotel in Bend was recognized by Trip Advisor as one of the Top 25 Hotels in the United States. Chosen as part of the website’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards, The Oxford Hotel was recognized for the quality of its rooms and excellent location.

BLRB Hires Several Team Members

We are pleased to announce that several new talented professionals have joined BLRB. 

With over twenty years of experience in the construction industry, Marie Malone joined BLRB’s Tacoma office as a Senior Specification Writer. She brings significant expertise with specification development and quality control processes. She has worked on a variety of public and private projects throughout the United States, including numerous health care and educational facilities. 

Kosei Imamura joined BLRB as an intern architect. A graduate of Washington State University, Kosei brings significant experience with architectural design and graphics. 

Patty Hoffman joined BLRB Architects’ Tacoma office as an administrative assistant. Patty has seven years of experience working as an administrative assistant in a variety of fields.
Henry Rhett is one of four new hires in BLRB’s growing Bend office. A product of University of Oregon’s architecture program, Henry has more than 15 years of design experience, with significant expertise in residential and commercial projects. 

Tom Stark also joined BLRB’s Bend office as a project manager, bringing over 30 years of architecture and construction experience. Tom has worked on numerous projects ranging from schools and municipalities to medical and residential facilities. 

Glen Camuso also joined BLRB’s Bend office with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. Glen earned a Master of Architecture degree from University of Colorado, having previously studied civil engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Glen’s experience includes significant experience with commercial and residential projects.
Mindy Lyman joined BLRB’s Bend office as a Senior Interior Designer, bringing more than 10 years of experience on public and private projects. Mindy has received multiple awards, including a 2014 DJC Women of Vision Award that recognized her for her leadership, innovation and service in the community. 

Michael Harmel is one of two new hires in BLRB’s Portland office. Michael is a recent graduate of Portland State University’s architecture program, who brings experience and expertise with AutoCAD, SketchUp and other architectural design tools.
Cole Poland also joined BLRB’s Portland team. Cole is currently finishing his Master of Architecture at Portland State University and previously received a Bachelor degree in architectural studies from Washington State University. Cole has experience with architectural graphics, design and the development of construction documents.

BLRB Bend Relocates

BLRB’s Bend office has moved to an expanded suite to accommodate growing staff and to better serve current and future clients in the area.

Having added seven new staff members over the past year, the Bend office relocated from the second floor of Vision Plaza to the first floor to give the firm a first-class work environment that not only is more inviting for client but can also accommodate future growth.

BLRB Architects’ new Bend address is 404 SW Columbia Street, Suite 120.

Andy Cottrill to Speak at Conference

BLRB’s Andy Cottrill, AIA, will be speaking at the 2014 Early Childhood Education Design Conference, presenting his experience working on Renton School District’s Meadow Crest Early Learning Center as a case study for early childhood educational facility design.

The conference will take place October 24, 2014, at the University of Colorado Denver.

Chinook Middle School Opens

Bellevue School District’s Chinook Middle School recently opened to mark the start of the 2014-2015 school year. The $40.7M school was designed for flexibility and includes multiple break out spaces for small group instruction and team teaching.

Tackable surfaces, moveable partitions and modular/moveable furniture all contribute to the flexibility of learning spaces. Integration of interior and exterior spaces was accomplished through the extensive use of glazing, and Chinook’s daylight filled, centrally located commons provides inspirational vistas to the outdoors while also enhancing student supervision from the interior to the outside play spaces and fields beyond. Outdoor courtyards create social gathering and outdoor learning areas.

In keeping with an emphasis on creating a sense of community and belonging, special education classrooms are integrated throughout the school rather than being segregated as a department.

Washington Elementary School Reopens

The heart of Tacoma’s Proctor District, Washington Elementary School recently reopened its doors to staff and students, signaling the end of the school's $19.7M rehabilitation.

With its rich architectural legacy and position as a much-loved fixture in the Proctor neighborhood, Washington’s restoration was both challenging and rewarding. The project included the complete interior reorganization of the two-story school and basement, demolition of a historically insignificant addition, and integration of an architecturally compatible addition.

Little Deschutes Lodge II Wins Sustainability Award

BLRB-Bend's work on Pacific Crest Affordable Housing’s Little Deschutes Lodge II in La Pine, Oregon, was named a winner of the inaugural Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Renewable Energy Power Awards. Owned by Little Deschutes Lodge 2 LLC, the south Deschutes County project was honored in the small community project category.

The award presentation was made in April 2014 in front of renewable energy industry practitioners attending the Financing Renewable Energy Conference in San Francisco, California.

Little Deschutes Lodge II is a 26-unit, low-income housing tax credit development in La Pine, Oregon. The lodge-style apartment complex offers energy-efficient lighting and ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, as well as a 32.2 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system.

In addition, a solar thermal system with 12 panels and four 120-gallon water tanks, a geothermal cooling and heating system with four miles of underground piping, five heat pumps and an energy recovery ventilation system provide the heating and cooling. 

R&W Engineering estimates that the energy-efficient measures will save 298,992 kW and more than $20,000 annually. The energy project received federal investment tax credits of over $50,000 for the complete system.

Meadow Crest Recognized by Governor Inslee

The City of Renton and the Renton School District were recently awarded a 2014 Smart Communities Award from Washington State Governor Jay Inslee for the Meadow Crest Early Learning Center & Accessible Playground, designed by BLRB Architects.
The 68,760-square-foot facility houses up to 450 preschool students and is organized to foster student safety, security and inclusion. Classrooms, meeting spaces and play areas are grouped into small wings, which allow children to move between spaces easily and experience their surroundings at an appropriate scale.
Multi-purpose rooms and meeting spaces were designed to flexibly accommodate a variety of functions and group sizes, with the ability to segregate them from student areas, allowing for 
both educational and community use of the facility.

Now in its ninth year, the Smart Communities Awards program recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to quality of life in Washington State.
“These projects help create and sustain a thriving economic climate and strengthen our ability to lead in the global economy,” said Gov. Inslee. “Washington is a great state in which to live and do business thanks to these examples of leadership and innovation in community planning and development.”

BLRB Selected for Tacoma Valhalla Hall Study

BLRB Architects was recently selected by the City of Tacoma to perform a feasibility study for the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of the former Valhalla Hall, a 15,000-square-foot building located at 1216 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Tacoma.

Currently in the beginning stages of the project, BLRB is working with the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority BLRB to identify the most viable development option for the property.

The current plan is to rehabilitate the building with respect to the neighborhood’s historic properties and convert it into a mixed-use facility with both commercial and residential space.