PCC announces green light to take land for Scappoose training center
Portland Community College on Friday, Dec. 6, reported it has received approval to take possession of 17 acres near the Scappoose Industrial Airpark on which the college plans to build a workforce training center. The parcel of land is located north of Wagner Court and east of West Lane Road in Scappoose.
"We're thrilled to share that PCC now has land in Scappoose, and even happier that construction will soon begin," said Sylvia Kelley, PCC's executive vice president, in a prepared statement. "Many thanks to our constituents in Columbia County, who have patiently waited as the college worked diligently to make this project a reality."
A PCC training center in Scappoose has been in the works for years, with a planned partnership between PCC and Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center Research & Development. PCC has planned to invest $24 million to construct a 31,000-square-foot facility on the site.
PCC noted in the release the property's ease of access due to its location near Highway 20 and its proximity to the OMIC R&D, a venture made up of higher education, industrial and manufacturing partners that has received state funds to get it off the ground. When fully realized, OMIC R&D will combine applied research and development in advanced manufacturing techniques as well as workforce training.
PCC's training center will initially focus on advanced manufacturing, offering programs such as machining, computer numerically controlled 0peration, welding and mechatronics, the release states, to complement OMIC's R&D work. Programming will be based on an apprenticeship model, a career pathway that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction to develop industry-aligned skills.
PCC stated it is committed to providing additional career technical education and other courses as needed by the community, according to Friday's release.
"PCC's partnership in Scappoose was something we've supported wholeheartedly from the very beginning," stated Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge in the release. "There have been bumps and bruises along the way, trying to figure it out and how to do it, but all day long, the city of Scappoose has been there with PCC. It's very important for the city. It's very important for economic development. And, it's very important for the whole OMIC process that's happening out there.
PCC indicated it wants to begin construction soon, with an anticipated facility opening date of spring 2021. Meanwhile, plans are underway for a celebratory groundbreaking, open to the community, to take place in late winter or early spring 2020, the release states.
"I've got a construction and project management team ready to go on the build, and they couldn't be more excited to start work," said Linda Deg
PCC staff delivered a condemnation offer letter to SPB Holdings, the property owner, on Sept. 24. That letter had a 40-day window, after which PCC could pursue legal action should the landowner reject PCC's final offer.
Under state law, government agencies can force a landowner to sell property under eminent domain.
In a complaint filed in Columbia County Circuit Court on Nov. 5, PCC offered $3.19 million for the property, which is slightly above the most recent assessed value available from Columbia County.
On Wednesday, Nov. 6, PCC issued notice to the defendants that the college will take possession of the property after 10 days unless a defendant files an objection. An objection in this case could only be made to determine if the condemnation is legal or if the condemner, PCC, "has acted in bad faith, engaged in fraud, or engaged in an abuse of discretion under a delegation of authority."
The condemnation court filing named SPB Holdings as one defendant, but also included Old West Federal Credit Union, Blum Family Dynasty Inc., and Columbia County.
SPB Holdings is registered to Mike and Judith Dennis, founders of Oregon Aero Inc., which operates at Scappoose Industrial Airpark. The property owners owe $87,727 in unpaid property taxes and interest from the last two years, plus $37,804 that was due Nov. 15, according to Columbia County documents.
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