Hoffman Construction was awarded a $40 million contract for upcoming projects at Portland Community College's Cascade campus in North Portland.(Rendering courtesy of THA Architecture)
Portland Community College awards contract for renovation and expansion
POSTED: Monday, March 19, 2012 at 01:40 PM PT
Daily Journal of Commerce BY: Lindsey O'Brien
Tags: Hoffman Construction, Portland Community College
With more than 20,000 students on its Cascade campus throughout the year, Portland Community College has a strong presence in the Humboldt neighborhood. And its footprint is about to grow even larger.
PCC’s board of directors last week awarded a $40 million contract to Hoffman Construction for a major renovation and addition. Construction is set to begin at the end of the year.
The campus stretches along five blocks of North Killingsworth Street, which is otherwise dotted with cafes and modest-sized businesses. THA Architecture has worked with the college on a campus redevelopment plan since 2009, and the upcoming transformation is expected to add a more urban feel and activate the neighborhood, according to project architect Nick Hodges.
The project is entering the schematic design phase, and Hoffman Construction will provide input now that it has won the construction manager-general contractor project.
“There are a lot of challenges out there at Cascade,” said Bart Eberwein, executive vice president of Hoffman Construction. “It’s an urban campus; construction will displace really valuable parking; and it’s important that we’re taking care of the students, who are there for an education, not to listen to jackhammers.”
Plans call for construction of a 220-stall, underground parking garage, but the attendant excavation and safety challenges will require more attention before that plan is finalized. Alternatively, the college considered building a garage with approximately 300 stalls, but community members were not thrilled that it would become one of the tallest buildings in the neighborhood.
“We’ve had many, many discussions, and are excited to move forward with a plan that will help us reduce single-occupancy vehicles and meet some of our sustainability goals,” said Linda Degman, associate director of PCC’s bond program.
In 2008, Portland voters approved a $374 million bond measure – $60 million is going into the Cascade campus redevelopment. Hoffman failed to win three previous PCC bond projects.
“We stepped up to the plate three times and whiffed, but this was the final opportunity and we got lucky,” Eberwein said.
For its Cascade proposal, Hoffman strove to maximize MWESB partnerships and emphasize the company’s past successes on projects with complex parking challenges, including the Brewery Blocks. Hoffman will partner with two minority-owned general contracting companies – Pacificmark Construction and Boanerges Group – for the CM-GC contract lasting three and a half years.
“We are totally stoked over here,” said Sharon Maxwell-Hendricks, CEO of Boanerges Group.
Maxwell-Hendricks, a graduate of the Cascade Skill Center’s construction trades program, was thrilled last summer when her company was selected to remodel three classrooms on the campus where she learned the trade.
The upcoming PCC project will be the largest Boanerges Group has undertaken, as well as its first CM-GC contract. Maxwell-Hendricks is anticipating the project will prove a significant boon to her company on many levels. Not only will she learn overall CM-GC procedures, but the project will provide a major boost in revenue and allow her to hire three or four new office staffers.
“For me, this is personal – I was born and raised in this community; I went to a church that was on that property when the college bought it; I’m a PCC alumna,” she said. “This is an opportunity I’ve been working toward for a very long time.”
The first phase of construction will include three new structures – a 45,000-square-foot academic building, a 37,000-square-foot student center and the parking garage. Two more phases are expected, according to Hodges.
Removal of the existing student center, construction of a new plaza, and extensive renovations to the library, student services building and technical education building are in earlier stages of planning, however.