Extension Education Center Update
The Land Use Approval process with the City of Oregon City continues on. A third submission since August 2018 was delivered last month in March. There have been numerous issues from site location, the number of windows/or lack thereof, the exterior look of the building, and wetland impact and mitigation concerns. Over the past several months, all of these issues have been examined, discussed and alterations made, as possible. Now, during the first week of April, the City has provided a “conditional” land use approval pending the resolution of a final utility right-of-way. If this happens, a 120-day clock begins for the City to analyze the details of our construction plan and approve or not. When we receive approval, then the permitting process will begin, construction documents will be finalized, and contracts for construction will be ready to let.
So, what’s the construction timeline likely to look at, as of this moment? Best case scenario is looking to late summer/early fall for a ground breaking—if all the stars line up. Build out is expected to be about 15 months. We believe we are getting closer!
In the meantime, it’s full steam ahead as we continue with private fundraising and in-kind contributions. Two major financial commitments for the fundraising have been secured in recent months. First, this past December, the Clackamas Chapter of the Master Gardeners Association committed $50,000 over five years and will be naming the public gardening clinic in the new Extension Education Center after Gray and Noreen Thompson. Gray, a former Clackamas Extension Agent, created the Master Gardener program in 1976.
Also, J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation has pledged $100,000 with naming rights to the Outdoor Education Pavilion—a multi-purpose space for outdoor education classes and activities. J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. is one of the largest shade tree nurseries in the U.S. and is a Clackamas County business founded more than 70 years ago in the Boring area.
Finally, conversations are occurring at this time with the wood products and forestry landowner community for funding support and wood product in-kind contributions. The Extension Education Center will be the first all wood, advanced wood technology (i.e., cross laminated timber and mass plywood), and net-zero building (producing its own electrical energy needs) in the county.
For more information, contact Clackamas Extension County Liaison, Mike Bondi.