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Architects in training

CCHS drafting class works on county building

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Prineville author Peggy Lutz is shown in her uniform. She has recently published her second book,

Four future architects and civil engineers will be busy the next few months revamping the look of the county building across from the county courthouse in Prineville.
   CCHS senior Dallen Pope and sophomores David Schas, Dezarae France, and Cody Mecham are enrolled in drafting teacher Mike Towne's advanced drafting class.
   The students had to take two other high school drafting classes before enrolling into the advanced class.
   "The reason we're using these guys is it takes more creativity than experience to do this. They are changing the aesthetics of the building. It's a good project for them," said Crook County Judge Scott Cooper.
   Primarily, their efforts were focused on matching the appearance of the wood-sided building with other county buildings and the new city hall that will be neighboring the property.
   "We're trying to coordinate the exterior so it blends with the architecture of the plaza and courthouse. Also, so it's eye-appealing," said Greg Hinshaw, director of county maintenance.
   Cooper explained it wasn't necessary to make the buildings look identical.
   "However, we're not going to put neoclassical columns on the courthouse," said Cooper.
   Each of the county buildings within the county plaza are different in appearance.
   The sheriff's department has a Western feel, which is significantly different than the county health department's older, blue facility.
   The students first task was to map out blueprints for the building.
   "There probably were plans to this building years ago, but it has been purchased two or three times and they have been lost since," said Hinshaw.
   However, mapping out the building was not the highest hurdle for the young drafting students.
   "Just getting in touch with people and getting to know what (county officials) want has been the biggest challenge so far," said France.
   On top of matching the exterior to neighboring buildings, the students are also partially remodeling the interior of the building.
   The team of students listed possibly changing the interior by moving walls, windows, and getting the building wheelchair-friendly.
   "I think this building has a lot of problems," said Schas. "It's definitely not handicap accessible."
   He mentioned that several of the bathrooms are not up to standards for those in wheelchairs.
   "We really need to make those bigger," Schas said.
   Currently, the building houses the county's parole and probation office, juvenile department, and the Crook County Tobacco-Free Coalition. All three entities are located upstairs.
   "This will give these offices some space," said Hinshaw.
   The downstairs part of the building is used by for Crook County Court meetings.
   Because there is not a wheelchair ramp, a diamond plated makeshift ramp is used when someone in a wheelchair wants to sit in on a courthouse meeting.
   The target date to have the changes made to the county building is July 1.
   Next door, the city building is scheduled for completion by June 2005.
   Cooper pointed out that if county officials wanted to change the building significantly they would have hired an architect or civil engineer.
   "(County officials) could have paid the money and have some firm come in... But we'd rather have the community involved and save some money," Hinshaw said.
   Debra Patterson, director of the juvenile department, pointed out the county is saving money by having the advanced drafting students work on the building rather than an architectural firm.
   "We're helping the kids out. They are helping the community. It's a win-win situation for everyone," said Cooper.
   "It's quite a bit of work, but with the four of us and Mr. Towne we'll pull our heads together and figure some of these things out," said Pope.