Over the summer of 2021, Hardypond Construction began to prepare the site around Reiche Elementary School in Portland for a multi-phase renovation project. We recently completed the renovation project at another Portland school – Lyseth Elementary – and we are excited to be at it again! Hardypond will build a new entrance to the school, update all the mechanical systems, and create new classroom spaces for students and teachers. The school needed an upgrade; the original layout of the school had an open concept design and classrooms were initially built without walls, which created a huge noise problem. Updating the space will create a better learning environment for kids and improved working conditions for the staff. While the work will entail complex logistics, it is another opportunity for Hardypond to do what it does best: tackle hard projects and do good work that improves our community.
Unfortunately, due to delays in the permitting process, work at the Reiche School was unexpectedly paused last fall. Always adept at responding to challenging situations, Hardypond used the summer and fall of 2021 to set the stage for the work ahead. “We did all the things we were allowed to do to put us in a position so that when we get the go ahead, we’re ready,” said Hardypond President Deirdre Wadsworth. “We’ve used our time to order materials and be as organized as possible so we disrupt the kids as little as possible once we get started.” Modular classrooms were constructed around the school which will help with the logistics of working while class is in session. The detailed planning and construction management process is a strength that our team brings to every project. As we modified our initial plan for working throughout the school year, Hardypond’s goal has been to work with the Reiche community to find the right path forward that gets these kids in a better learning environment quickly.
At a groundbreaking ceremony in the fall of 2021, students, teachers, parents, and school board members gathered. People spoke and kids got to don construction helmets and dig in the dirt. While the ceremony was largely symbolic as everyone was waiting for the permit, it was also a valuable opportunity to connect as a community and be reminded that we’re all working together to improve the lives of students and teachers.
The good news is with 2022 now in full swing, the project is moving forward! Hardypond completed the first phase of construction over the April break and with school ending in early June, the team can really dig into the project over the summer of 2022. Stay tuned for more updates!