New Urban High School

North Clackamas School District

Combining a non-traditional setting with arts-based curriculum, this application-based magnet school emphasizes the importance of creativity and project-based learning. With a maximum student population of 200, the New Urban High School (NUHS) in downtown Oak Grove provides an alternative school setting where small class sizes allow teachers to devote their attention to each individual student.

Size: 38,899 sf
Location: Oak Grove, OR
Completion: est. August 2021

 

Currently in design, this new 38,899 sf building will feature a media center, art room, commons (which doubles as cafeteria and exhibit space), Career Technical Education (CTE) classroom and traditional classrooms. Opsis designed the building to serve an inclusive community. The project includes renovation of the existing one-story adjacent classroom building to house the school during the 2020-21 school year.

The two-story, light-filled Commons serves as the living room of the school and a focal connecter of all the surrounding learning spaces to create a strong sense of identity and home for the students and teachers.

The building will also be home to the Oak Grove Center (a self-contained expulsion alternative program for middle and high school students) as well as Twilight, an after-hours degree completion program. Driven by the unique needs of the student population, the new building will also feature a robust counseling suite and administrative support.

Opsis engaged students through inventive and inclusive engagement strategies to explore designs the reflect shared values around sustainability, environmental justice, social equity and artistic expression.

Opsis designers used a collage exercise to engage students in a visual exploration of design ideas for their new home. This method represents an evolution of Opsis’s engagement strategies for non-English speaking students. By using visual feedback, participants who may have perceived barriers or shyness were provided equitable access to the design process.

Student voices emerged in the design response of the sun screen feature, a vibrantly multi-colored element that speaks to the energy and diversity of the school and neighborhood.