The foundation of Campbell Hall had to be rebuilt in the restoration.

Colamette takes care in historic college building restoration

If you seek a challenge to put your construction expertise to the test, then take a public building that is122 years old and bring it up to the structural and accessibility standards of 1993. Of course you must maintain the architectural and historical integrity of the facility.

That is the task facing Colamette Construction Co. from Portland and the design team of McBride Architects from Beaverton. The building is Campbell Hall on the campus of Western Oregon State College in Monmouth, the oldest building among the eight public universities and college.

It is a two-story Gothic building with the main building constructed in 1871 and the last major addition completed in the early l890s.

Phase One of the restoration project began in early August and includes a completely new foundation system under the entire building, with extensive structural improvements to the first floor and roof system.

Campbell Hall during early stages of the restoration project.

The $1.2 million Phase One project is to restore the structural integrity of the building. The challenge is to do it in four months, all the while allowing the faculty and students to utilize the building except for the basement area. The challenge is also not to just construct a new foundation system, but to excavate the basement an additional three feet to create a space more suitable for future use.

Working with brick and mortar that is 122 years old and fragile requires special attention and sensitivity to the demolition required to accomplish the task at hand. Weaving wide flange beams 40 feet long, 27 inches deep and weighing as much as 5,200 pounds through a forest of columns, lifting and sliding them into place to reinforce the first floor, requires ingenuity and careful planning.

Lifting 24-inch-deep glulam beams and feeding them through an attic window, moving and setting them in place in the attic floor requires uniquely designed handling equipment.

These conditions place increased emphasis on coordination, scheduling, and jobsite safety. Lead by Jim Ohler, project superintendent, and Greg Whitaker, project manager, Colamette Construction Co. is well on the way to providing Western Oregon State College with a structurally sound building.

A project of this kind on a structure of this type is not without its surprises and opportunities to test the will of the construction team.
A Campbell Hall cornerstone, set in 1871, lays its claim to history.
Team meetings are held weekly between the owners, Skip Fresh of McBride Architects, Roger McGarrigle of VanDomelen/Looijenga/McGarrigle/Knauf, along with Jim Ohler and Greg Whitaker of Colamette Construction, to review project progress and procedures and to keep the lines of communication open and active.
The design team keeps themselves available to respond to Colamette's questions and needs as situations arise in order to keep the project on schedule.

It is imperative that all members of the construction team communicate and cooperate in the ultimate goal of a successful project for the state and for Western Oregon State College.

Daily Journal of Commerce, Monday, Oct 25, 1993

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