Adrienne C. Nelson High School

Happy Valley, OR

Adrienne C. Nelson High School

Happy Valley, OR

To be able to have a brand new high school with its namesake walking the halls and speaking to our students is a gift for our school district, but more importantly, it’s a gift for our students.

Matt Utterback, North Clackamas School District Superintendent

For years North Clackamas Schools had its sights on adding a fourth high school to its District to address overcrowding. The first step toward this realization was the implementation of Rock Creek Middle School, designed and completed by Bora in 2010 with the intent to one day convert and expand it into a high school. 

In 2016 the dream became reality. A successful bond measure funded the new school, named Adrienne C. Nelson High School in honor of the first Black woman appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court. 

The major renovation/addition built upon the original middle school structure, providing a comprehensive building that operates as if it had been designed and built in a single undertaking. A series of new additions respects the initial structure while maintaining a simple yet distinct materials palette. Guided by themes of simplicity, flexibility and connectivity, the new high school features covered and uncovered outdoor spaces to orient students while adding a human scale.  

The design upgraded the middle school facility to include all the requisite elements of a high school. A new performing arts wing includes a black box theater and 600-seat auditorium; a new athletic wing provides a varsity gym, a weight room and wrestling room; and a new two-story classroom wing adds 16 new classrooms, including two chemistry labs. The project also features a new career center and counseling center, while the expanded 66-acre site boasts a new district track & field stadium and ample sports amenity upgrades.

Constructed and renovated while still occupied, the new high school will open in the Fall of 2021. At nearly double the size of the original building, it will eventually be home to 1,600 students.