The St. Helens School Board is moving ahead with plans to renovate St. Helens High School, utilizing a construction management/general contractor process.

New High School Campus

This flyover view conceptual drawing illustrates the overall high school campus vision following the renovation.

This process allows a contractor to be brought in early in the design phase and stay through construction and completion, rather than the traditional method of going out for competitive bids after design.

Front Entrance

This conceptual drawing shows a front entrance to the remodeled high school.

The district is in the pre-design phase of construction for the new school. Voters narrowly approved a $55 million bond to fund the project in May.

Rick Raining of Cornerstone Management Group presented the board with information about using the construction management process, which he said streamlines the project and provides built-in support from contractors with a wealth of knowledge in the field.

“They know whats going on and can select the right help. In the case of a remodel this is really a better way to go,” Raining said.

During the Sept. 23 virtual meeting, the school board also approved a professional services agreement between the district and Soderstrom, Ltd. Architects for work on the renovation project.

In a statement following voter approval of a $55 million bond measure in May  to conduct the high school renovations, the St. Helens School District released the following statement.

"The work that we do on the high school will result in well planned and carefully built spaces that will serve St. Helens students and the community for many years," the statement reads.

During listening sessions in 2015, school officials listened to public concerns about the need for modern health, safety and education standards upgrades at the middle and high schools.

Over a five-year period, a new middle school and a new options high school building were constructed.

The district then worked with the community to develop a high school improvement plan that would address health, safety, building systems and education programs at the facility. In February, the board of directors referred the proposed bond to voters for the May 2020 ballot.

Following the election, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school board voted to delay the sale of bonds until 2022. The delay would not impact the proposed construction schedule to the high school, according to a release from the St. Helens School District.

Follow this developing story here online and in the Wednesday print editions of The Chronicle.

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