After four years of planning, Hamlin Middle School of Springfield, Oregon recently held the grand opening of its new $41 million facility featuring a modern, collaborative environment dedicated to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning.
“This is the model for all the other area schools,” says Brett Yancey, COO of the Springfield School District. “It was built to keep more than 700 6th, 7th, and 8th graders engaged and interested in a cutting-edge, eco-friendly building intended to last for decades. It was amazing to see the excitement when the kids first walked through the doors. Our previous school couldn’t fit everyone into one assembly. Now we can do that and so much more.”
On the project list for nearly 15 years, the design and build of the new Hamlin school finally took off after district voters passed a $71.5 million bond measure in November 2014. This included tearing down the old school, which was built in 1957, and construction of the two-story, 123,000 square-foot facility offering two gyms, 38 teaching spaces, state-of-the art touch-screen white boards, art lab, band rooms, and electrochromic windows that darken to enhance comfort and safety. It is also the first area school to use Field Turf.
In addition, style was key to Hamlin’s look and feel, which was designed to honor the area’s past and future. Rich wood paneling and polished concrete floors highlight the entire school. Each of the building’s four wings are named after native Oregon trees — cedar, fir, oak and alder. Other features include exposed wood beams, tall windows that allow for natural daylighting, and gray classroom furniture selected to offset the school’s green and white colors.
“We wanted to create a trendy environment with open, common spaces that would inspire both students and teachers,” explains Yancey. “This included durable, easy-to-clean products that last for decades.”
According to John Saraceno, the school’s project manager at the Springfield School District, these specifications extended into Hamlin’s 20 restrooms, which were designed with Scranton Product’s Hiny Hiders partitions. Gray partitions with orange accents for the boys’ rooms and gray partitions with green accents for the girls, Hiny Hiders partitions were specifically chosen because they never need painting and offer superior resistance to dents, scratches, graffiti, corrosion, mildew and moisture. Unlike metal partitions which are subject to rust, Scranton Products’ HDPE partitions are naturally resistant to bacteria products and available in a variety of colors and textures.
Also important to the selection process were Scranton Products’ Tufftec lockers for student use and Duralife lockers installed in the school’s kitchens, staff, and break rooms. “Every student has his or her own light gray locker,” offers Saraceno. “Durable and spacious, we were immediately impressed with the conveniences afforded by these products.”
Like the restroom partitions, HDPE lockers resist bacteria, odors, mold and mildew. They can be power washed and steam cleaned without the worry of rust. Graffiti also wipes off easily with most non-abrasive cleaners. In addition, Duralife lockers feature an easy-to-clean, non-porous surface, while Tufftec lockers are especially designed to withstand the wear and tear of athletic, healthcare and recreational environments.
“We put the plastic lockers through rigorous tests and they passed with flying colors,” Saraceno added. “They’re also very quiet when opened and closed—they don’t bang like metal lockers and resist dings and dents.” Yancey agrees and says the school system is extremely pleased with the partitions and lockers, which he expects will serve students and staff very well and save on maintenance and repair.
To learn more about Scranton Products’ Hiny Hiders partitions, and Tufftec and Duralife lockers please visit http://www.scrantonproducts.com or call 800-445-5148.