Buildings to be removed at Fort Vancouver Site

The National Park Service has awarded a contract to RJS Construction, Inc., of Washington for the removal of five buildings located in the East and South areas of the Vancouver Barracks, within the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Work is expected to start in early fall. Several of the buildings intrude on the historic landscape and are in poor condition, and all were identified for removal during the 2012 East and South Vancouver Barracks Master Plan process. The removal of the buildings (Buildings 409, 422, 787, 710 and 750) will meet the goals of reclaiming the historic landscape and promoting reuse of the site.

“As a woman- and Native American-owned small business, RJS Construction, Inc. is beyond excited to be a part of a project that is focused on respect for history and consideration for the environment. We look forward to partnering with the National Park Service and Fort Vancouver as they move forward with the removal of buildings and salvage of historic wood,” said Chris Boring of RJS Construction, Inc.

The removal of the buildings, three of which are sheds, is a further step in achieving the Master Plan. The work will restore historic views and increase the visibility of the iconic Fort Vancouver and its employee village. The project will also facilitate better access to land circulation within the site, and supports the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant recently awarded to the city of Vancouver for improvements to East 5th Street and the main parking lot for the national park. One building will be partially deconstructed to preserve salvageable wood and allow the wood to be reused locally.

“We estimate a yield of 30,000 to 40,000 board feet of historic wood during the deconstruction efforts. The salvaged wood will gain a second life by being re-used locally as furniture, exposed structural pieces, mantel pieces, etc,” said Der Lovett of the subcontractor, Lovett Deconstruction Inc.

“We are very pleased to continue moving ahead and bringing the East and South Barracks to life as the Sustainable, Historic Campus for Public Service envisioned through the Master Plan public process. Through this work, we will be improving the safety and visibility of the site,” said Superintendent Tracy Fortmann.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.