A PLACE TO ACCOMODATE AGENCY CONSOLIDATION featured image

A PLACE TO ACCOMODATE AGENCY CONSOLIDATION

A new Multnomah County headquarters for the Oregon Department of Human Services is quickly taking shape at one of Gresham’s busiest intersections.

A place to accommodate agency consolidation

By Josh Kulla

 

A new Multnomah County headquarters for the Oregon Department of Human Services is quickly taking shape at one of Gresham’s busiest intersections.

TVA Architects designed the three-story, 95,000-square-foot structure, which is being built by general contractor Pence Construction on the southwest corner of Southeast Stark Street and 223rd Avenue. The building will feature a structural steel and concrete slab on deck framework as well as a generous use of glazing. There will be enough space to allow the state agency to consolidate several existing county locations. The project is being developed by Rubicon Investments, which will lease the building to ODHS.

Ground was broken in July 2020, Pence Construction project manager Perry Smick said. The team had to navigate late summer wildfires, as well as a winter storm that froze construction activities for nearly a week. Nevertheless, Smick said, the team is actually ahead of schedule.

“The schedule got affected by some of those delays, but we’ve been making up time,” he said.

Currently, interior steel framing work is taking place along with installation of plumbing, electrical, fire suppression and mechanical systems.

“We poured our last major concrete pour on the third floor last week,” Smick said. “So now it’s mostly about framing the building, mostly around the perimeter, which will lead to getting the other subcontractors going on the outside but also on the inside.”

Major subcontractors involved in the project include: Sowles Company, which performed steel erection; Pence/Kelly, which carried out structural concrete work; Caliber Plumbing & Mechanical, which is performing both plumbing and mechanical scopes of work; Stoner Electric GroupHarlen’s Drywall, which is handling all interior and exterior steel-stud framing and drywall; Skyline Sheet Metal, which will install the metal panels and fiber cement panel system; and River City Glass, which will carry out glazing work.

The 5.51-acre site is actually comprised of three separate tax lots. Two single-story buildings – a Plaid Pantry store and Puff’s Pub – are set to remain on the property; four other buildings were demolished.

Primary vehicle access will be via 223rd Avenue, but there will be a secondary entrance via Stark Street. The main building entry will be on the property’s south side, with another for employees on the north side. Eight interior parking stalls on the ground floor will be reserved for child welfare staff vehicles and will also be used by ODHS clients when privacy is required.

The primary entrance will feature a two-story lobby with full-height glass facing south and a two-story glass opening facing 223rd Avenue. Doors will open to both the east and west.

Exterior materials include ribbed and flat metal panels as well as a high-density fiber cement panel system.

The site is huge, Smick said, but it’s mostly parking for 288 vehicles. Not much underground work is required because of soil conditions. Bioswales are being built around the site’s exterior to handle runoff from the building, along with a half-dozen dry wells to handle high-water events.

“On the other side of town, (soil) has more clay, but here there’s a lot of gravel to it and I think it probably has to do with the (Columbia River) Gorge,” Smick said. “It drains really well, and basically, we’re not connecting to any existing city stormwater (infrastructure); it’s all handled on site.”

The project team is scheduled to finish by December. A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver rating will be pursued.

The building’s southeast corner will feature the double-height public entrance

 

The new building will be three stories

 

The building’s northeast corner will have an entrance to secure parking for staff and visitors requiring privacy

 

The building’s southeast corner will feature the double-height public entrance

 

The building’s upper floors will primarily hold employee spaces, including offices

 

Steel brace frames will anchor the interior of the structure

 

Concrete being poured

 

The building’s northeast corner looks out over the intersection of Southeast 223rd Avenue and Stark Street

 

Team at the mockup wall

 

Team at the mockup wall