Several weeks ago I attended the open house for the new Fremont Middle School in the Parkrose School District. The new middle school replaced an aging early 1960’s school designed by Andand and Boone. I had the pleasure of working with Dull Olson Weekes Architects (DOWA) in the mid-90’s in performing the design for a seismic upgrade on the structure. Aside from working with DOWA on the middle school back then is that I was a student of Fremont Junior High (now middle school) back in the late 60’s – 70’s. So it was some what of a home coming for me, to see that old school during that project.
So when I heard that a new middle school was being built and that there was an open house, I just had to go. Dan Hess from DOWA was the principal architect on the project and I have had many opportunities to work with him in the past. I got to catch up with him and we talked about the school/project itself. One of the things that impressed me the most, aside from the fantastic design, was the people that he had met along the way during the design process and the open house. The people that turned out were not just the parents of the current students, but essentially alumni of Fremont Junior/Middle School. Almost a sense of community for the district, sort of what I feel with Oregon Institute of Technology. I asked Dan if this has been the case with all the other schools he has worked on over the years. His response was that he had never experienced this sense of community.
As I walked the new halls of the school, I reflected on some of the memories from the old school. Once I was intimidated by some bullies to surrender my locker mates lunch. Or the time when I was coming out of the locker room, I ran into an older student named Tom Dailey whose younger brother was named Mike as well. Two Mike Dail(e)ys in the same school. My English teacher and his style of teaching. Wood shop. Math class…oh the memories. Funny chance had me purchasing our first house over looking the schools track. So my history with that school has had many journeys.
All the lockers have pennants from various colleges and universities around the country, especially local schools. I met the principal and asked if they had an Oregon Tech pennant? She said that they did not and I told here that I would make sure that she got one.
The following link is to my work experience on the old Fremont Middle School, when I did the seismic upgrade.