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Summer 2015
​Feature: Richland: Building 21st Century Schools

Spring 2015
Feature: Meridian demonstrates that small school districts can do big things

Winter 2014
Feature: STEM equipped facility for CB Tech

Summer 2014
Feature: Ocosta to build tsunami safe school

Richland School District: Building 21st Century Schools

​June 2015


After passing a $98 million dollar bond in 2013 and obtaining $54 million dollars in state assistance funds, the Richland School District will begin the school year in August 2015 with four new school campuses and a renovated high school stadium. Three more new schools will be completed over the next three years.

Richland, Pasco and Kennewick (Tri-Cities) make up one of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation. The area’s scientific research community, farming and food processing industry, growing wine business, and low cost of living make it a very attractive place to live. In recent years, Kiplinger Magazine rated the Tri-Cities among the top 10 best places in the nation to raise a family and Forbes ranked it number 5 for job growth.  Because of this growth and the need to renovate aging schools, in 2013 Richland voters passed a $98 million bond to:

  • Replace Lewis & Clark, Marcus Whitman, and Sacajawea Elementary Schools (the three sisters)
  • Build a New Orchard Elementary School in the south/west area
  • Build a New Middle School in the south/west area
  • Build a New Three Rivers HomeLink School
  • Build New Jefferson Elementary School.
  • Replace the HVAC system at Chief Joseph Middle School
  • Make safety improvements at Fran Rish Stadiu

The current estimated total program cost is approximately $152 million. The District will receive approximately $54 million in state assistance funds. The project features technology-enriched classrooms and state of the art science, art, computer and music rooms. Large dividable gymnasiums and multi-purpose rooms will feature solid wood performance stages and retractable bleachers. Safety improvements include separate bus traffic and student drop off areas. And all of the new buildings will have abundant natural daylight throughout.

Meridian Demonstrates that Small School Districts Can Do Big Things

March 2015


After passing a $17 million dollar bond in 2010 and obtaining $23 million dollars from the State
Construction Assistance Program, the Meridian School District has completed some big facility projects! The district replaced the elementary school and most of the old high school buildings, and renovated the remainder of the campus. The bond scope also included demolition of many of the old deteriorating buildings, including the 91-year old “Old Main” building.

The district worked closely with the community and an amazing 12th grade student, Joel Wiebe to develop the bond plan for revitalizing two of the three district schools. Joel worked on the bond campaign as his senior project. He was instrumental in organizing the student body to rally around the campaign by asking them to attend community meetings and work the phone bank. He also produced a video that highlighted current building issues and the benefits of new and modernized schools for both the student body and the community.

In order to accommodate the busy school year and keep the existing high school buildings fully occupied, the design and construction team helped the district develop a three-phase project plan. This allowed for completion of each new phase of construction and then student occupancy before the next phase of demolition and construction started.

The new two-story 59,000 square foot Irene Reither Elementary School was built while students occupied the old school directly next door. The new facility boasts improved air quality, energy efficient equipment and lighting along with abundant natural light.

Working closely with the architectural team at Zervas in Bellingham, CSG provided Project Management, Construction Management, Constructability Review, Commissioning and (FF&E) Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment logistic services for the project.


Irene Reither Elementary


Meridian High School

Irene Reither Elementary

  • Total project sq ft = 59,000
  • Total project costs of $16,500,000

Meridian High School

  • Total project costs of $25,800,000
  • 4 new buildings with a total of 93,000 square feet:
  1. A 13,500 sq. ft. Career and Technical Education building
    including a wood shop, art room, computer lab, culinary arts
    and a state of the art welding shop with 17 welding booths
  2. A 48,600 sq. ft. education building including classrooms,
    science labs, commons area, new library and dining area
  3. A 25,000 sq. ft. replacement gymnasium, a landscaped
    central courtyard with a “college campus feeling” plus a
    new centralized bus drop off area
  4. 6,300 sq. ft. locker room building and a new greenhouse
  • The facility is designed around a central courtyard which can be locked off from outside entry. Most of the student traffic between buildings takes place through the secure courtyard improving safety over the previous sprawling campus.
  • Building security is enhanced with access control and videosurveillance including a video buzz-in station at the front entry.
  • The site is designed to separate the bus traffic from student parking areas eliminating traffic conflicts with pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Evening use spaces such as the Gymnasium, the Commons and the Library can be secured at night with only select areas being heated and accessible.

Preparing Students for STEM-related careers at the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center

December 2014

Columbia Basin students with a penchant to pursue a career in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields now have the opportunity to learn in a modern and highly sustainable new facility fully equipped with high-tech classrooms and laboratories.

Spanning 43,570 square feet on eight acres of land, the regional Columbia Basin Technical Center is designed to prepare students for future employment, apprenticeships and postsecondary education in STEM-related jobs. Traditionally referred to as Skills Centers, the Columbia Basin Technical Center will serve approximately 300 high school students each term from 10 regional school districts including: Almira Coulee Hartline, Ephrata, Grand Coulee Dam, Lind-Ritzville High School, Moses Lake, Othello, Quincy, Royal City, Soap Lake, and Warden. Enrolled students typically split time between their local high school and the Skills Center.

Sustainable features

  • Water efficient adapted, native grasses
  • Building materials (50%) extracted and manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the site
  • Low-emitting materials to reduce off gassing and odors in sealants and adhesives, paint, carpet and other finishes
  • Extensive natural daylight throughout the building
  • Solar panels installed on the roof
  • Electric vehicle charging station
  • Energy efficient electrical and mechanical systems

Phase One Completed in June

43,570 square-feet of facilities designed to prepare students for STEM-related jobs including:

  • TV/Video Production – careers in digital communication for TV, video and broadband industries.
  • Advanced Manufacturing - careers from aerospace to energy production in a state of the art fabrication lab.
  • Culinary Arts – provides opportunities to work in a restaurant on campus and train for a career in the food or hospitality industry.
  • DigiPen Video Game Programming (AP® Computer Science*) – presents students with an introduction to interactive video game development.
  • Entrepreneurship – Career opportunities include small business owner, business manager, sales manager, and operations manager.
  • Life Sciences/Global Health – prepares students for careers as community health advisors, biomedical lab technicians, pharmacist, FDA food safety officers, chemist, veterinarians and international aid workers.
  • Multi Craft Pre- Apprenticeship – trains students in more than two dozen trades including electricians, plumbers, carpenters, construction managers, millwrights, project coordinators and project engineers.
  • Professional Medical Careers – prepares students for a variety of medical occupations including nursing assistant, registered nurse, medical office assistant, physician, radiology tech, pharmacist, and physical therapist.
  • Cosmetology – through hands-on experience students are taught current styles and trends.

Phase Two

20,000 square-foot addition to be added in the future. The plans include:

  • Indoor shop
  • Outdoor work area
  • Additional classrooms to support the planned Law Enforcement, Automotive Technology, Video Technology programs and Pre-Veterinary Technology.

Nation’s first tsunami evacuation structure to be constructed on Ocosta elementary school campus

September 2014

Earthquake experts believe a tsunami could reach Ocosta Elementary in Westport, Washington as quickly as 20 minutes following a major earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. That fact, coupled with the need to replace a 45-year-old elementary building, provided the catalyst for local voters to approve a 2013 capital facilities bond that will fund a new elementary building. As part of the school, the nation’s first tsunami vertical evacuation “safe haven” will be erected.

The $ 14.7 million capital plan will include a gymnasium tall enough to withstand extreme wave heights and sturdy enough to bear repeated tsunami surges, the roof of which will act as a tsunami refuge for all 700 students and staff, with additional space for some community members.

“This project involves an important planning effort by multiple jurisdictions,” said Superintendent Paula Akerlund. “The decision by our local voters to invest in such a critical school and public safety initiative speaks volumes about this community,” she added.

Less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean, Westport does not have natural high ground or berms for community members to escape to in the event of a tsunami. The bond measure to build the evacuation structure was informed by the Washington Department of Emergency Management’s willingness to fund a complete Earthquake and Tsunami Study and Hazard Analysis for the district. The study analyzed several scenarios and measured potential flooding depth, effects of trees and vegetation in such an emergency and other factors associated with a tsunami.  

The tsunami-resistant design of the building incorporates lessons we have learned from how buildings performed during the 2012 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. We are able to use the latest design standards developed by experts from around the country; standards which will eventually find their way into our building code. The community and school district are leaders in terms of preparing their community for an earthquake and tsunami.” Cale Ash, Degenkolb Engineers

The voter approved bond to replace a portion of the elementary school will also be used to eliminate existing decrepit and leaky 20-year-old portables.  Working with TCF Architects, CSG is providing Project Management, Construction Management, Constructability Review, Commissioning, and (FF&E) Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment logistic services for the project.