News Briefs for Feb. 13, 2020

Camas addresses Brady Road concerns; WHS Grad Night planned; Presidents' Day closures; Washougal Schools Foundation offers grant

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Camas addresses concerns about Brady Road

The city of Camas has posted an update on its Brady Road construction on the city’s website, saying repairs are coming soon.

“A steady diet of heavy construction equipment and pipeline trench work has taken a toll on the surface of Brady Road,” the city’s website states. “We wanted to let you know that we’re working closely with the contractor and that roadway repairs are coming soon. With hope (and good weather), your ride through the construction zone will be smoother soon.”

The city began construction on Brady Road from Northwest 16th Avenue to Northwest Pacific Rim Boulevard in September 2019, and hopes to complete the work in the fall of 2020.

Motorists have been encouraged to avoid the area due to intermittent construction related delays.

The new roadway will include one lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane or raised median, bike lanes, sidewalks, storm-water collection and treatment, water and sewer system improvements, landscaping, street lighting and other related improvements, according to the city’s website.

For more information, visit or call 360-834-6864.

WHS Grad Night auction to be held Feb. 22

Students in Don O’Brien’s advanced metals class at Washougal High School (WHS) are learning more than just a craft skill. They are learning how to be creative, recycle and give back by constructing a large commercial-grade barbecue/reverse flow smoker unit.

The piece, which took three years to complete, is a premier item for the school’s 2020 Grad Night Party dinner and auction, to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in the WHS commons.

“Mr. O’Brien’s students did an amazing job showcasing their talent and skills in such a beautiful piece,” event volunteer Dawn Harchenko said in a news release issued by the Washougal School District (WSD). “Our grad night committee is truly honored to be gifted with such an amazing piece of work. We know that some lucky bidder will be excited to own it.”

The unit has two separate cooking areas — a barbecue grill and a wood fire box warmer for smoking. It also features a fold-down preparation table for holding items before cooking. The piece is mounted on a Panther-orange trailer platform so it can be towed to a catering job or for home use.

The barbecue is constructed from mostly recycled and scrap metals donated to the program from industry supporters of the WHS metals program. The main housing of the unit was created using tanks that were previously constructed for former WHS teacher Ray Tuffs’ boat but were never used.

“Working with materials like metal, there is a fair amount of waste, so being able to teach students how to reuse and/or repurpose scrap into something of value is pretty amazing and adds another dimension to their learning,” Margaret Rice, WSD’s director of career and technical education (CTE), said in the news release.

Numerous WHS metals students had a hand in the creation of the piece, according to O’Brien.

“Whenever a student had completed a project and had a little time on their hands, I’d tell them they can work on the barbecue,” he said. “There is a lot of pride in this by a lot of people. I know I am proud of the students.”

WHS seniors Trevor James and Nick Hauzen put in a lot of time this past semester on the piece, the news release stated.

“Projects like these take time, and this one has been worked on by many students over the past three years,” Rice said. “The shorter class periods make it challenging to finish a project of this magnitude in a shorter amount of time.”

Washougal resident Harry Fishel volunteers as a mentor for WHS metals students and has helped guide construction of the barbecue. He has welded for nearly 50 years and worked at Camas’ paper mill for 30 years.

“I come in a couple of times a week,” he said. “I like being there to help show students how to weld things so they work the way they need to.”

The event’s proceeds go to fund the seniors’ all-night graduation party.

“We will have about a dozen live auction items, the barbecue being one of them, and dozens of fun and interesting silent auction and raffle ticket items,” Harchenko said.

“It’s paramount for our students to understand the importance of giving back so we work with them to create projects that are meaningful and will support their community,” Rice said.

Camas-Washougal closures planned on Presidents’ Day

City offices in Camas and Washougal will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17, in recognition of the Presidents’ Day holiday.

The Camas Public Library and Washougal Community Library also will be closed on Monday, as will schools in both the Camas and Washougal school districts.

There will be no garbage service in the city of Camas on Monday, Feb. 17. Monday garbage will be picked up on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Camas. Recycling and yard debris pick up for city of Camas customers will be on the normal pick-up day, including Monday, Feb. 17.

Washougal Schools Foundation to offer new grant

The Washougal Schools Foundation (WSF) has announced plans to increase classroom giving with the introduction of a new multi-year grant.

The Momentum Grant is intended to help teachers prove out ideas to increase learning in the classroom, according to a news release issued by the Washougal School District.

“We have grown, and we have heard what the educators and the community require, which is an enduring investment in skills and values that are over and above the district’s definition of and budget for basic education,” WSF president Kyle Eakins said in the news release.

The WSF currently infuses $13,000 into Washougal classrooms each year via $1,000 Creative Classroom grants in the spring and fall, with $250 mini-grants available throughout the year. By introducing a new grant of $2,000 per year for the four years, the foundation will increase its annual investment to $21,000.

“We recently interviewed the first graduating class that went through their entire school education with the WSF as a resource for their teachers,” Eakins said. “They shared experiences of projects that were many years in the making. These new Momentum Grant funds will further incubate teachers’ good ideas while providing the traction to innovate and the freedom to introduce leading-edge educational ideas.”

The new grant will be available for the 2020-21 school year to a single teacher via an online application process.