Rosa Parks School

Portland, OR
Dull Olson Weekes Architects

Portland, Ore. Looks to a School Designed Around "Neighborhoods" as a New Model.

Rosa Parks School is the cornerstone of the new Community Campus at New Columbia, a mixed-use partnership project located in the recently redeveloped New Columbia low-income housing project, the largest revitalization project in Oregon history.  Projecting a significant increase in population and needing to serve residents of North Portland, the Community Campus is a public/private partnership that includes a new K-6 school (Rosa Parks), Boys & Girls Club, and Portland Parks Community Center, on land donated by the Portland Housing Authority.

Rosa Parks School
Photo © Gary Wilson Photo/Graphic
Rosa Parks School

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Photo © Gary Wilson Photo/Graphic
Dull Olson Weekes Architects

While the need for these programs was central to the development of New Columbia, financial resources were limited.  Dull Olson Weekes Architects was hired to bring together these institutions and non-profits as partners to create the Community Campus, cutting planning costs by as much as half. The centerpiece of the Community Campus is the new Rosa Parks School.  Only the second new school designed and constructed by Portland Public Schools in 30 years, Rosa Parks is envisioned as a model for future new school design.

The new school is divided into four “neighborhoods,” each containing 125 students.  Each neighborhood contains five classrooms, a resource/student support room, and support functions around a “Neighborhood Commons.”  At the entry to the school, families are provided their own resource room, as well as access to a library information center.  Functions including art, computers, music, and food service are shared with the new Boys & Girls Club.

The 2.38-acre site contained five heritage trees, which were preserved, essentially reducing the allowable building area to 1.8 acres.  Connected to the pedestrian pathways of New Columbia, Rosa Parks is a walk-in school, and a sustainable design including, but not limited to, the incorporation of natural daylighting, storm water management that results in all storm water remaining on site, photovoltaic electrical panels, and displacement ventilation.  Rosa Parks School anticipates a LEED Gold certification.

Formal name of project: Rosa Parks School

8960 N. Woolsey Avenue,
Portland OR 97203

Gross square footage: 66,863 sq.ft.

Completion Date: August 31, 2006

Total construction cost: $12,836,012

N4C (New Columbia Community Campus Corporation)
Portland Public Schools
Housing Authority of Portland
Boys & Girls Club of the Portland Metropolitan Area

Dull Olson Weekes Architects
319 SW Washington Street, #200
Portland, Oregon  97204
503.273.9192 (fax)


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