Longtime engineer, construction manager and community volunteer Dean Lodmell received the Southeast Washington Association of School Administrators Community Leadership award June 11 at the organization’s annual banquet in Richland.
Lodmell grew up in Walla Walla and graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1952. He attended Whitman College in Walla Walla before moving on to Columbia University to continue his education in civil and structural engineering. As a young man and recent college graduate, he was hired to help manage construction of Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. He worked on several dam projects in the 1960s and eventually landed in Pakistan to construct highways and bridges. He also worked for seven years in New York City during the 1970s building tunnels.
Lodmell’s influence on local construction is also extensive. He was the construction manager for the Walla Walla Regional Airport Terminal, Key Tech Facility, Penrose Library at Whitman, and the Walla Walla College Administration Building. For years, Lodmell has served on the Walla Walla Public Schools Community Facilities Task Force, assisting in the development of long-range facility improvement plans, providing recommendations to the district for facility improvements and more.
In the early 2000s, Lodmell served as the district’s construction project manager for the Sharpstein Elementary modernization. In recent years, Lodmell has assisted with the review of building designs for Walla Walla High School and assisted with the development of a new all-weather track for Walla Walla High School. The project is expected to break ground this summer and be completed in the fall.
Lodmell has been married to Betty since 1986. Betty owns and operates Betty’s Preschool. She has been in business in Walla Walla since 1962 and has helped more than 3,200 students get ready for kindergarten.