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Happy Valley resident Kenneth Bailey: Create home for Oregon-learned skills, along with Oregon products from timber, horticulture farm products and more

COURTESY PHOTO - Tucked away in the industrial section of McLoughlin Boulevard, sits a substantial rustic park-style building. Just south of the Springwater Trail, across McLoughlin Boulevard from the OLCC headquarters in Milwaukie, sits a beautiful but unused Works Progress Administration (WPA) building.

Built in 1938 as an office for the Oregon Department of Transportation, the building is on the "Super Highway" completed in 1935, also known as Highway 99E or McLoughlin Boulevard.

Kenneth BaileyBy any name, it is a super highway. The building, it is super as well. Built in a grove of oak trees, some more than 7 feet in diameter, WPA workers cut the stones to make bricks, hand carved the window frames, made copper gutters and special roofing materials.

Today this super building sits vacant. ODOT moved out in 1995 to a new facility in Northwest Portland.

Now the building has become a target for graffiti, a bad use.

This super building could become a home for Oregon-learned skills, along with Oregon products from timber, horticulture farm products and more.

At the building, college students could show off their electrical, plumbing, horticulture, interior design, carpentry and even food-service skills.

This endeavour could include cooperation among community colleges, labor unions, the OSU Extension Service, farm groups and even the lovable wine makers.

Let's work together to show we're a super Oregon.

Kenneth Bailey is a resident of Happy Valley.


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