Newsletter goes out to over 3,000 Households

Newsletter goes out to over 3,000 Households


The inaugural issue of the Extension Education Center newsletter that is being sent to you and more than 3,000 other households, individuals, and community stakeholders in Clackamas County who participate in OSU Extension Service programs.  This newsletter will keep our Extension family up to date about the progress being made on Extension’s new office building project in Oregon City on the County’s Red Soils campus.  As many of your know, we have been dreaming about a new office for Extension’s programs and activities—and, to better accommodate the needs of the public and our many volunteers—for many years.  We are finally getting close with a ground breaking coming in the New Year!  Please read and share with others in your family, your friends and your neighbors.

With Thanksgiving upon us, we at the Clackamas County Extension office, are very thankful for the many blessings we all share, including your participation in our programs and your support.

Be watching for the next issue of our Extension Education Center newsletter in January with more exciting news.

Thank you, again.  Have a great holiday!


Michael C. Bondi, Professor of Forestry

OSU Extension Service—Clackamas Liaison and Research Center

Extension Center Approved for Public Bids

Extension Center Approved for Public Bids


[Oregon City] Clackamas County Commissioners gave the green light on Tuesday, October 22 to begin construction for a new Oregon State University Extension Service Education Center in Oregon City on their Red Soils campus.  The new building will be located on the southeast corner of Beavercreek and Warner Milne Roads—about two blocks east of OSU’s current Extension office location.  Ground breaking is expected this coming spring.  Occupancy is projected for year-end 2020.

The new Extension Education Center will be a state-of-the-art, all wood building featuring a modern Cascadian-style design and the latest technologies in wood construction—cross-laminated timber and mass plywood.  The 22,000 square foot, two-story structure will include a 150 seat meeting and training room, a teaching kitchen, multiple smaller meeting rooms throughout the building, and a public Master Gardener Clinic.

“We are excited to have the County Commissioner’s support for the new Extension Education Center,” said Mike Bondi, OSU’s Extension Liaison for Clackamas County.  “The County is providing the site location on their Red Soils campus and we are using our Extension District funds to build this county-owned building.  The Center will be exclusively used by Extension.  This is a real win for all of us in the community.”

Clackamas County Commissioner, Martha Schrader made the original motion to move this building forward in 2015. “The OSU Extension Service has served Clackamas County residents for more than 100 years. This new building will allow our residents to continue accessing this resource to help live healthier lives, learn about our local ecosystems, and get involved with their communities. I am also excited about the opportunity to showcase mass timber in its design,” said Schrader after Tuesday’s meeting.

The new Extension Center is a “dream come true” for OSU—a building designed specifically for the needs of Extension and the community for years to come.  The large meeting room and smaller meeting spaces will accommodate programming not possible in Extension’s current location.  The teaching kitchen will provide upgraded facilities for adult and youth cooking and nutrition education, and expand collaboration opportunities in the community. The Master Gardener Clinic will include a library and diagnostic lab for sample analysis, plus outdoor demonstration gardens and a teaching greenhouse.

In addition, the Extension Education Center will be the first Net Zero public building in the County—meaning the building will generate all of its own electrical needs for the structure.  Nearly 300 solar panels located on the roof of the Center will generate the electricity.  A north-south orientation to the building and super insulation will help make heating and cooling much more efficient in the building be keys to achieving the Net Zero goal. Furthermore, the Extension Center will be a resilient building—able to withstand a 9.2 earthquake.  In the event of a natural disaster of this magnitude, the Extension building will still be standing, able to generate power, and will have a kitchen facility for emergency food preparation and feeding.  The large meeting room could become the nerve center for communications by County government during a time of crisis.

With today’s approval by the County Commissioners, the final building documents will be prepared and submitted for review and advertising for the public bidding process.  Bidding is expected to begin by late November.

Audio file of meeting – with comments from Clackamas County Commissioners, Jeff Jorgensen, County Facilities Manager, Mike Shea, Project Architect and Mike Bondi.

Local Logs Sought for Extension Education Center 

Local Logs Sought for Extension Education Center

Here is your chance to build your tree farm’s legacy into the new OSU Extension Education Center, coming to Oregon City in 2020.   We are looking for local wood products to help with building construction.

The Center will include peeled log columns in the two entry facades plus detailing around the 22,000 square foot building. Approximately ten 16” diameter logs (lengths 8’ to 24’) plus twenty 12” diameter logs (lengths 8’ to 24’) will be needed.

All donors will be recognized for their contributions. We can work with multiple product providers to fulfill this request. Wood will need to be available in summer 2020.

The new center will be one of a kind—an all-wood advanced technology public building with a modern-style Cascadian look, featuring cross laminated timber, mass plywood, and built with as much locally-sourced wood as possible. The building will be an education unto itself, showcasing Clackamas County forests, our landowners and the history of the family forestry movement, and the next generation of wood products for sustainable design and construction.

If you’d like to have your tree farm’s wood products built into the new Extension Education Center in Oregon City, please contact Mike Bondi at the Clackamas Extension office.

New Building Renderings Gives 360 View

New Building Renderings Gives 360 View


The latest architectural renderings of the new Clackamas Extension Education Center from architect Mike Shea and Sonderstrom Architects gives a 360 degree view of the exterior and interior of the building.  There have been some planning delays with the City of Oregon City since the original timeline we set forth but planning seems to be getting back on track and we hope to break ground by the Spring of 2020.  View the video here:

New Building Update from Mike Bondi – July 11, 2019

New Building Update from Mike Bondi - July 11, 2019

We had a meeting this afternoon with Project Architect, Mike Shea, and the County Facilities Staff to review the latest developments with the Extension Education Center project.  As you know, we have been working on and waiting patiently for the Land Use Approval—a process that began in mid-May, 2018.  The Land Use Approval is required before we can receive building permits.
After 14 months of review, changes, alterations, and relocations, the Land Use Approval was received from Oregon City on July 1.  That’s the good news.  Interestingly, this approval is considered “conditional” with 37 conditions that must be met as we go forward.  Twenty-two of these conditions must be met before building permits will be issued.  And, another 15 conditions must be met before occupancy permits will be provided once the building is considered complete and ready to move in.
Today’s meeting addressed the 37 conditions and most are pretty straight-forward, in our minds, and are doable to be met.  However, there is one significant exception—moving the building for a second time…and, now, another 3½’ to the East.  Mike Shea is working on this to determine if we can get around this requirement and not have to lose any more parking places.
That said, here is what the next steps might look like so you are well aware of where we are going with this project:
  • Mike Shea believes he can address all of the conditions by the end of July.
  • Building permits (and, there are many) are being filed now—at least for the ones immediately needed.
  • The County expects to be preparing for the public bidding process during August with hopes of publicly advertising by the 1st of September.v
  • The bidding process will be open for 30 days.  Once a contractor is selected, we should be ready to break ground—sometime near the end of the year—like November.
  • Breaking ground in the winter is not what we were hoping for, but does appear to be the schedule we are on.  As a result, the initial ground work will be slow and dependent on the weather.  Regardless, by Spring of 2020, the building should start coming out of the ground and starting to look like something.  Build out—from this point forward—should be relatively fast and ready for move in as early as the calendar year end of 2020.
Of course, this is only a potential schedule.   All of this is the good news…the not so good news has to do with the revised building costs.  Our $10 million project now is looking like a $14+ million project, all in, according to the cost estimator.  That’s an increase of 40% or so.  I suspected our final cost would likely go higher than the original estimate presented at least 2 years ago—especially due to the increasing construction costs in the Portland metropolitan construction market—about 10-20% per year.  Everyone’s been talking  about a cooling off in the economy and housing market, but I guess we might be missing on that, too.  Maybe our bids will come in much more reasonable.  Also, we now have the SDC (System Development Charges) from the City for public infrastructure upgrades of about $600,000.  This number wasn’t in the original estimate, either.  Building permits will be about $325,000.
As you can see, our $3 million fund raising goal won’t come close to moving us into the new Extension Education Center debt-free.  But, reaching this goal will be even more critical for keeping our mortgage for the building down to a minimum.  The wood product cost for the building is estimated to be $1.3 million, alone, so we do hope to whittle that number down with donations.
We will continue to work on the building plans and getting ready for the contract bidding process, awarding of the contract, and ground breaking.  Again, I’m not quite sure when this will be, at this time, but we are projecting year end sometime.
In the meantime, the Extension BBQ during County Fair will be Thursday, August 15 from 5:00-7:00pm in the Grove.  I hope you can join us.  The building and final plans will be on display.  Mike Shea plans to be there to talk about the building.  We’ll have the final design and rendering drawings, too.  And, we should have a better idea about the timeline for the construction.

Building Update 4/15/19

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.