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Action by City Council clears way for groundbreaking on long-awaited project Nov. 13; completion scheduled in 2021.

Beaverton will break ground for the long-planned Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and a seven-story parking garage on Nov. 13.

With a few swift motions Tuesday night, the City Council approved a guaranteed maximum price of $59 million for construction of the project by Skanska USA Building of Portland. The council also approved amendments to contracts with Opsis Architecture and Gerding Edlen, a real estate development and investment firm.

"This is the last step in this journey," said Cadence Petros, city Development Division manager, before the ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 13 at the site at Southwest Hall Boulevard and Crescent Street. The site is north of The Round/City Hall, and directly east of The Rise Central, a 230-unit apartment complex. A 125-room Hyatt House is also under construction there.

The seven-story garage will accommodate 350 cars and house retail space and mechanical units for the center on its first floor. The Beaverton Urban Redevelopment Agency will finance the $24 million cost. It is scheduled for completion in spring 2021.

The center itself is named in honor of Patricia Reser, its major donor at $13 million from her family foundation. Her contribution accounts for more than half the $24 million raised from individuals, businesses and foundations. The other $21 million will come from city revenue bonds, repaid through city lodging taxes. Part of the combined amount paid for design and other preconstruction activities; the maximum for construction is $34.7 million.

The center with its 550-seat theater is scheduled for completion before the end of 2021.

The other $418,221 is for work on Beaverton's central plant, which will power the complex.

Each of the five council members offered praise to a number of participants, including Reser, who was in the audience but did not speak.

Back on Oct, 15, when the City Council voted to proceed with the center despite a projected escalation of $5 million in construction costs, Reser said: "Just think: Our very own center for the arts — a gathering place for our community to flourish and build the next generation of leaders and artists — is finally becoming a reality.

The difference was made up largely by deferring a $2.5 million endowment fund, a $1.5 million repayment of a city loan for startup costs, and a design change that eliminated rehearsal space from the first floor of the parking garage.

Mayor Denny Doyle said the largest share of thanks should go to the public, which identified an arts center as a high priority in the 2010 Community Vision Plan.

"We will be thanking the citizens of Beaverton for their contribution and bringing this all the way home, he said. "That is as it should be."

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