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Case Studies

Unique mass timber facility
becomes a point of civic pride

Santiam Canyon Junior/Senior High School Gym Mill City, OR

The Santiam Canyon School District (SCSD) passed the first bond measure in its decades-long history to secure funding for much-needed new school buildings in Mill City, a small community in rural Oregon. At the heart of the $17.9 million bond measure is a new gymnasium, initially planned to be constructed as a barebones, prefabricated metal building. However, the proposal got a boost when local mass timber manufacturer Freres Engineered Wood donated their innovative mass timber panels, beams, and columns for the construction. Soderstrom Architects designed a simple structure with a sloped shed roof over the gym volume and clerestory windows at one end for daylighting.

“When we first opened, one of the kids told me he felt like he was now attending a fancy private school,” remembers Todd Miller, SCDS Superintendent. “It’s pretty powerful to be able to offer an experience like this in a small, rural community.”

Santiam Gym showing mass timber structural elements
Santiam Canyon Gym / Soderstrom Architects / Rick Keating