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Local residents encouraged to weigh in on two library and community center projects in north Clackamas County

Two upcoming community projects in the Oak Lodge and Gladstone areas are now open for local residents to learn about and weigh in on through a pair of virtual open houses that will run through Sunday, Aug. 2.COURTESY OF CLACKAMAS COUNTY - The Concord School property at the corner of Concord Road and McLoughlin Boulevard will be the site of a new park, community center and library for the Oak Lodge community.

The new Oak Lodge Library, along with a community center and park, are coming to the old Concord School property purchased by North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District in 2019 near the intersection of Concord Road and McLoughlin Boulevard. The new Gladstone Library is set to be developed at the old Gladstone City Hall site located at 525 Portland Ave.

Both projects have a community task force assigned to them which have met regularly — and virtually through the COVID-19 pandemic — to drive the project and ensure they are mindful of each community's needs. COURTESY OF CLACKAMAS COUNTY - The Gladstone Library will be redeveloped at the site of the old Gladstone City Hall.

Last fall, the task forces began with technical investigations into whether the projects were feasible and what constraints there might be. This winter, the task forces learned about the wishes of both communities for the two developments and aspirations as to how the facilities will perform.

The design alternatives phase is currently ongoing, and the two open houses provide the opportunity for the community to engage and have their voices heard.

"These projects provide great synergy for these communities and create a community heart-of-sorts for each district," said Kathryn Krygier, project manager. "It's always wonderful when you can do more than one thing in one stop, you know, go to the park, stop at the library. Everybody is really excited about this."

According to Krygier, both projects have been narrowed down to three options in terms of design. The community task forces, along with the project's design team, will take into consideration the community's input and submit a preferred design to be approved by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners sometime in the fall.

Krygier said that it's important for as many people within these communities to weigh in as possible so that these task forces, design team and county commissioners have the most information to make the best possible decision. She also said that NCPRD and the county are making an extended effort to ensure that local communities of color are targeted to give input as well.

"We're listening carefully to everyone that participates," Krygier said. "We're also reaching out to people that are typically underserved, one way is that we've also created a Spanish and using contacts we've previously made with a couple different groups in Oak Lodge and Gladstone."

According to Krygier, the goal is to have both of these projects under construction beginning the winter of 2022. Those interested in taking the survey can do so on the county's website here.

Concord Partnership Board advocates for preservation of current structure at property:

The Oak Lodge community center, library and park project has gained widespread interest as a concept from local residents for more than five years. A editorial recently submitted to the Clackamas Review by Concord Partnership Board of Directors members Ron Campbell, Michael Schmeer and Geoffrey Janke advocates for one particular option that would see new development and renovation of the current building on NCPRD's Concord School property.

"This alternative involves new construction joined to the existing building in a way that honors and preserves its landmark character," the editorial stated. "It offers a welcoming visual presence with separate and distinct identities for the community center and library with easy access between them and the adjoining park.

It's an alternative that the Concord Partnership Board can enthusiastically promote, and we expect it will be equally appreciated by others who advocate for long-term benefits of a well-designed community project, continuing Concord's long legacy of community support."


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