PCS Celebrates 3 Years in Portland

PCS Celebrates 3 Years in Portland

In December 2017, PCS opened our third office in Portland to better serve our clients in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Three years later, 2020 brought some unexpected obstacles, but with early and effective work-from-home strategies and well-connected office resources, our team hasn’t missed a beat. Despite the challenges, we have plenty of successes to share.

Hospitals, Education and Housing Keep Portland Busy
The healthcare market saw growth this year in spite of industry pauses. PCS’s current projects include over $700 million in new Oregon healthcare construction, including 400,000 total square feet at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Oregon. The hospital will gain 300,000 new square feet for Women’s Health, pediatrics, NICU, and special care nursery programs. Additional square footage will be dedicated to 16 operating rooms, support spaces, and a lobby.

PCS recently completed master planning evaluations for PeaceHealth hospitals in Eugene, Springfield, Vancouver, and four more Washington locations, as well as a major seismic retrofit at PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence, Oregon. Seismic retrofits and facility expansions at Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver are currently in design, and our team is looking ahead to additional work at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Legacy Health, Providence and Kaiser Permanente.

Our Portland office is also working on over $90 million in construction value on schools, colleges and universities in Oregon and southwest Washington. A few K-12 projects we're celebrating include:

  • Kalama School District (WA) - a new elementary school, expanded middle school and updated high school;
  • Woodburn School District (OR) - expansions and renovations at multiple schools;
  • Astoria School District (OR) - modernizations and additions at the elementary, middle, and high schools;
  • Vancouver School District (WA) - two newly completed schools and two more currently receiving upgrades.

In The Dalles, Oregon, Columbia Gorge Community College (OR) two major projects are wrapping up construction in fall 2021. A new skills center will deliver 24,000 square feet to support new career technical education programs, and Treaty Oak Student Housing provides students an affordable on-campus housing option.

Our Oregon residential production schedule is bustling too, with 12 multifamily housing projects, assisted living residences, and 15+ private residences around the state currently in design and construction.

Integrated Support
PCS has been providing structural design in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 60 years and is perfectly poised to continue growing into communities region-wide as the largest, single-discipline structural engineering firm in the region. “Drawing from our company resources in Seattle, Tacoma and Portland, PCS’s office integration gives us the capability to take on projects of all sizes,” says Steven Williams, associate in the Portland office. “We have an effective and streamlined internal production process and can perform fluidly between all of our offices.”

Successful Team Building
Annabel Shephard, who recently graduated from OSU, is the newest member of the Portland team and joined in the midst of our work-from-home stint. Getting a new employee up and running as a functional member of the team while working remotely was a new challenge.

Justin Lyons, project manager at our Portland office explains, “Communication and strong, dedicated mentoring really allowed us to integrate someone in this remote environment. We were already fluent in Microsoft Teams. Regular check-ins and taking time to be particularly thorough when questions came up was really important. We were able to be successful because mentoring is already such a big part of what we do.”

Not only is Annabel thriving as a team member, but she recently stepped up as co-chair on the newly formed chapter of SEAO’s Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity Project (SE3). The SE3 Project works to improve engagement and equity in the engineering profession, an effort that is also being engaged internally by PCS's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team.

Our Portland team has learned to adapt to a year of virtual communication. “You have to be intentional and reach out by phone to make contact and make time for more in-depth conversations. Clients want to socialize,” says Steven Williams.

Lyons adds, “Most of our communication is via Microsoft Teams, BIM 360 and Bluebeam, so when you do have the opportunity for smaller meetings, everyone values those as an opportunity to see how things are going and connect on a personal level.”

PCS Looks Forward
The Portland office’s prolific output has been a capstone to the year for PCS. “We’re really happy that we have the opportunity to develop our relationships with our partners through the projects we’re doing,” says Lyons. “We’re looking forward to when we can see people in-person again. We’re a fun office.”

PCS is an engaged and proactive participant in Oregon growth, and we look forward to expanding our relationships and community impact throughout the Northwest. “We’re celebrating our team’s camaraderie with our partners and passion for our work on important projects,” says PCS CEO Brian Phair. “We are immensely thankful to our design and construction collaborators for every opportunity to deepen our relationships and continue to deliver structural design excellence.”