OMD | Fort Dalles Readiness Center

Since the original armory was built in 1953, the needs of the National Guard and The Dalles community had changed significantly. The Oregon Military Department (OMD) requested a building that fulfilled its military purpose and its historic role as a gathering place for the public.

TVA, in conjunction with Hoffman Construction, was selected to design and construct this new Readiness Center. Supporting programmatic functions for the military unit training monthly at the facility, the spaces include kitchen, fitness center, administrative offices, weapons vault, simulated firing range, and storage for equipment. The three-story facility also houses a 10,000 sq. ft. assembly hall—the only one of its size in an Oregon armory. With capacity for 1,000, the hall provides ample room for soldiers to practice maneuvers.

With views in practically every direction, the site (also home to Columbia Gorge Community College, or CGCC) is exceptional. The building was designed to amplify the inherent beauty of its location and take advantage of vistas to the Columbia River below. Divided in half by a level change of over 30 ft., the existing site was naturally formed into two separate plateaus, which were used to organize the separate programmatic elements of the military and the college functions.

The most prominent feature of the building is the assembly hall, which has a butterfly roof that soars out over a large glazed façade. High windows provide natural daylighting to reduce artificial lighting needs and frame the adjacent terrace. The assembly hall ceiling structure is a clear-span assembly of natural wood with five-ft. deep laminated beams and exposed decking. The materials are appropriate for the Pacific Northwest region and were all sourced locally.

Designed as a net-zero ready facility, the building is provided with high-efficiency systems. Under-floor ducting optimizes air flow in the assembly hall, in-floor radiant heating provides comfort at high-bay and classroom spaces, and BMS and lighting control interfaces allow after-hours management of mechanical and electrical systems. Additionally, the inherent slope of the roof to the south was ideal for utilizing photovoltaics as energy generators, and given the CGCC’s focus on green technologies, the installation can be used as a lab resource.