A united community in Quilcene creates an exceptional Outdoor Learning Center

Coughlin Porter Lundeen partnered with OAC Services, Inc. to help the Quilcene School District on a special project this summer. An old bus barn on Quilcene’s campus was deemed unsafe and set to be razed and replaced. But when a bond effort to complete this work failed (by just two votes!), Steve Murakami of OAC stepped in and pulled together industry partners to figure out how we could repurpose the dilapidated structure on the high school campus.

The volunteer team, students and local volunteers spent summer weekends helping reimagine the space, transforming it into an Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) and community gathering space. The site was regraded and landscaped, 2,000 SF of new concrete slab was laid, and the old bus barn walls were reconfigured and the roof was reinforced to create a safe indoor/outdoor structure for student and community use.

At the heart of the OLC sits a beautiful new pavilion. The columns pictured were milled by one of the school board members, using trees from a salmon restoration project in the Quilcene area. “It sure packs a lot of architectural punch for a small pavilion!” – Karen Freda, Structural Engineer. The Coughlin Porter Lundeen team assisted with the design and installation – design/build at its finest!

“This is the largest volunteer project that has happened in recent memory in Quilcene,” – Superintendent Frank Redmon. With labor, materials, and donations the build brought in more than $600,000 in funds. The project created a beautiful tree-lined entrance to the school and a permanent new home for the district’s environmental education program.

Learn more about the build process here.

“It was special to see the space transformed after just a few weekends of work and partner with the community to make a lasting impact for the Quilcene students. We look forward to future opportunities to impact other communities with our collective efforts.” – Cory Hitzemann, Principal

Images © OAC Services, Inc.