OMSI Modernizes Camp Hancock Using MPP


Founded in 1951, OMSI’s Camp Hancock in Eastern Oregon has grown over a period of decades from a collection of canvas tents to today’s camp facilities, which are now in need of modernization and improved accessibility. First on its list to replace was its restroom. Camp Hancock’s residential outdoor school and summer camp facility needed a new, modern and ADA-accessible restroom to accommodate its camp visitors.

Not sure what goes here
Not sure what goes here
The new 1745 square foot restroom is one story and boasts three ADA accessible shower-toiler-changing rooms, three individual toilets and three separate shower-changing rooms, as well as common area sinks and benches in the lobby. MPP was used for the walls, roof, beams and columns.

During the height of the COVID pandemic, Oregon State University Extension Service Outdoor School program offered grants around equity and accessibility. The timing was perfect, as OMSI recently created a master plan for Hancock Field Station that will allow the facility to be safer, more efficient, and most importantly create a more welcoming and inclusive place for outdoor school students and campers to participate in programming. These funds would help see their project through to completion.

OMSI, Walsh Construction Co. and Bearing Architecture worked with Empowering Access to develop an indoor/outdoor design for the new restroom using Mass Ply Panels from Freres Engineered Wood. The design was shaped by the vision for the facility to be comfortable for everyone, while also incorporating modern elements, ADA-accessibility and additional privacy.

Freres’ Mass Ply Panels were selected for a myriad of reasons. The remote location of the camp exasperated the ability to get contractors due to an ongoing labor shortage, necessitating a shortened build schedule. MPP’s quick and easy assembly simplified scheduling on-site labor needs. In addition, lumber prices were at historic highs, making MPP a more cost-effective option. Sustainability and aesthetics were also a consideration. Finally, OMSI wanted a structure that wouldn’t require a lot of specialized maintenance over the years.

“Using MPP saved us weeks of build time,” said Spencer Dailey, assistant superintendent of Walsh Construction Co. “A stick and frame structure would have taken four weeks. With MPP, we craned the structure into place in four days. The condensed schedule cost us significantly less in contractor fees, simplified scheduling and allowed us to finish the project ahead of schedule.”

The core structure was assembled in 80 percent less time than a stick and frame structure would have taken.

“This project is a significant and critical first step in the longer modernization process to increase the accessibility of Hancock,” said Steve Tritz, director of outdoor science education
at OMSI. “We love how the open-ended design of the A-frame restroom with the wood construction melds so beautifully with the surrounding area.”

Not sure what goes here
Not sure what goes here
The A-Frame building matches existing camp structures and melds with the surrounding natural beauty. Also, to marry the new construction with the rustic, weathered look of the camp, wood paneling, exposed concrete floor and the exposed Mass Ply Panel roofline interior complement the dark rustic exterior siding and metal standing seam roof.

Download a PDF of the OMSI’s Camp Hancock Case Study

Project Summary


New restroom design that accommodates everyone’s needs


WALSH was charged with building a new camp restroom, in a remote area not easily accessible to contractors. Camp Hancock’s site in a rural part of Oregon compounded the challenges WALSH faced due to a labor shortage. In addition, lumber prices were at an all-time high, and OMSI wanted the structure to fit in with the surrounding area.


WALSH needed to find a way to build the new restroom quickly and efficiently, while managing a precise schedule. Freres Engineered Wood’s Mass Ply Panels are pre-manufactured and cut to exact specifications so they can be assembled quickly on-site. WALSH needed fewer contractors with MPP than with traditional stick and frame constructions, which saved time and money.


WALSH was able to find laborers because the shorter build cycle meant they needed the contractors for a much shorter period of time. The new restroom was erected in just four days, 80 percent faster than a stick and frame structure. WALSH completed the project ahead of schedule.


Walsh Construction Co.
Bearing Architecture
Empowering Access