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Best K-12 Education Project: Ridgeview High School Construction Creates Many Local Jobs

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Photo Courtesy of Jaime Sanders
Photo Courtesy of Jaime Sanders
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Ridgeview High School in Redmond, Ore., was truly a local project. The owner of the $63.9-million, 276,000-sq-ft facility, built by Skanska USA, Portland, wanted to ensure that local partners created the school to sustain contractors through a difficult economic time.

"When it started, it was the largest commercial construction project in the history of Deschutes County," says John Williamson, Skanska USA project manager. "A traditional procurement strategy would have rendered many of the packages very large by local standards. By breaking the project down into smaller packages, we aligned the sizes within a comfortable range for the local market."

Overall, more than 70% of the project was sourced locally. Along with more than two-thirds of local labor, more than 70% of all materials also were locally-sourced, helping keep tax dollars spent on the high school within the community that supported it. The LEED-Gold project houses 32 classrooms, 17 labs, student collaboration areas, a complete theatrical center and athletic facilities. The school, which can accommodate 1,400 students, also has photovoltaic elements that help to power it.

During construction, Skanska decided to utilize tilt-up concrete panels to save time and shave approximately $1 million from the budget. The tilt-up also serves as a heat sink, helping to moderate swings in outside temperatures prevalent in the high-desert location. But that decision didn't come without careful planning.

The size and shape of every panel was unique, making concrete forming and tilt-up bracing techniques less than streamlined. Crews had to pour, tilt and brace 187 individual panels, each one different, but with careful planning of the process, the project realized significant savings.

Off-site mock-ups for exterior details and 3-D building information modeling for mechanical, electrical and plumbing and structural components also helped keep the process moving smoothly. To save additional time and money, crews excavated and crushed approximately 66,000 cu yd of rock on site, using the material as the base under parking lots and access roads.

Ridgeview High School, Redmond, Ore.

Key Players

General Contractor: Skanska USA Building, Portland

Owner: Redmond School District, Redmond

Design Firm: Dull Olson Weekes Architects, Portland

Submitted by Skanska USA Building

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