New municipal structure will staff and community space at Donald L. Roberston Park

Wood Village is selling its City Hall to a developer that plans to transform the property into a retail destination, positioning the city to relocate its administrative offices in a less commercially viable location.

William & Dames Development Inc. is in the process of purchasing the building at 2055 N.E. 238th Drive and its surrounding area with the goal of constructing apartments behind the future commercial center. The developer plans to take possession of the City Hall building on June 28.

The city, meanwhile, has preliminarily selected Donald L. Roberston Park at 24300 N.E. Halsey St., as the site for the city's new administration building.

Portland-based LRS Architects Principal Paul Boundy discussed the early design stages at the Wood Village City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 9. PMG: PHOTO: MATT DEBOW - Wood Village is selling its present City Hall building and plans to build a new government structure at Donald L. Roberston Park.

Wood Village staff and councilors expressed interest in building a basic, functional structure.

"From the feedback we've gotten in the last couple of days we're probably starting this with a fairly conservative and simple view," Boundy said. "We've done some looks at some pretty wacky roofs, and it's always come back to a fairly simple roof."

Feedback the architecture firm's staff is hearing concerns regarding issues like how much city branding should be included and whether carpet or hardwood should be installed.

One early design aspect Wood Village staff advocated for is placing large City Council chambers in the building's center, with offices surrounding the central space.

Centrally located council chambers forms the current basis of design plans.

"We all agreed the council chambers could be buried within the building," Boundy said while speaking in the city's current council chambers. "Windows are nice to have, but as pointed out when we were in here, they're always closed."

The preliminary design allows for plenty of windows for all city staff offices.

City Manager Bill Peterson added that constructing the building in the park on the Halsey corridor fits a goal of the Main Streets on Halsey project, a collaborative effort among Wood Village, Troutdale and Fairview to create a shared vision for a corridor to better connect the neighboring cities.

"(However), one of the things we're trying to avoid in the entire Halsey plan is that concept of walking along a space and looking at a parking lot," Peterson said. "We can't do that here because of the restrictions on park land. So we've got to find a way to really intensively landscape or something along the front edge that doesn't look like you're walking along a parking lot."

In addition to improving the Halsey corridor, the new site will provide space for public events not hosted by the city.

"Lots of folks would like to do meetings, and we turn most of them down," Peterson said. "In a new building, it'll be very different, and you'll want to accommodate some of that."

City councilor John Miner concurred that he would like to see the new structure include an area available to the public when city employees are unable to staff the building.

"That's a wise use of spending because that will tell the community that we're thinking about them," he said.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.