Schools Update: Vernonia School Project Receives Award

Recently I was privileged to accept the 2013 Daily Journal of Commerce Newsmakers Award on behalf of the Vernonia K-12 School Project. In attendance at the luncheon were Chris Linn and Jim Harold from Boora Architects, Steve Anderson, Kevin McCall and others from P&C Construction, Dewayne Cowles of Vernonia representing one of the subcontractors on the project, and John Donovan and Eric Block from The Metropolitan Group. In addition, Tom Kelly, Co-Chair of the Vernonia Catalyst Campaign Committee, which has done so much to help with fundraising for our project and Tony Hyde, Columbia County Commissioner, also a member of the Catalyst Campaign Committee and Co-Chair (along with Tom) of the Vernonia Oregon Solutions project were able to attend.

Our project was one of 15 firms or individuals who received the award for having played a significant role in the region’s building industry. I spoke with DJC representatives last month and here is what they told me about the award:

 “For more than 140 years, the Daily Journal of Commerce has served as the area’s main resource for news about the building industry in Portland, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.  A few years ago, we began honoring Newsmakers on an annual basis. In our selection process, we look for companies, individuals and organizations that have recently played – or are expected to play – a significant role in the region’s building industry. This year, we decided to break with tradition and include your district’s school project as a way to honor the district, the city, the project team and the entire community of Vernonia for a group effort in rebuilding the community’s school.

“The Vernonia K-12 School has been on our radar as qualifying as a Newsmaker for several reasons.

• The project created desperately needed jobs for the local construction industry.

• It helped set new standards in sustainable design for educational facilities.

• Even more compelling of a reason, though, was the opportunity to recognize the tenacity, dedication and efforts of your school district, the government leaders of Vernonia, the students who attend the school, the citizens of Vernonia, and the construction, architecture and engineering firms who all worked together to create something that more than just a “bricks-and-mortar” structure.

“In order to simplify the award presentations, we identified the Vernonia School District and the City of Vernonia as the recipient representatives. However, the purpose of the award is to pay tribute to all of those gave their time, skills and talents to create the new Vernonia K-12 School.”

I would like to once again express my appreciation to all of those companies, firms and individuals who have made, and are still making, our school something that we can all be proud of.