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The renovated facility takes home the honor from a statewide parks and rec organization

GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - The design of the Chehalem Park and Recreation's new aquatic and fitness center was recently recognized by a state parks and recreation organization.

Piling into the Red Lion Hotel at Jantzen Beach in Portland, representatives from park and recreation districts from around the state came together last week to celebrate their achievements. Among those accepting awards at the three-day event was the Chehalem Park and Recreation District, which brought home the Design Award for its crown jewel: the renovated aquatic and fitness center.

Last week's conference was hosted by the Oregon Recreation and Park Association – an organization CPRD belongs to that doles out awards every year. CPRD's award was for design on a project costing more than $1.5 million, while Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District took home the honors for a project costing less than $1.5 million.

"It's a very exciting event," CPRD spokeswoman Kat Ricker said. "These awards are competitive and this brings the best of the best in our industry from around Oregon. We go head-to-head in showcasing our projects."

Ricker said CPRD officials have known about the award for months, but were sworn to secrecy by the ORPA due to the competitive nature of the award races. The anticipation leading up to the awards ceremony was still significant, however, and Ricker said roughly 20 representatives from CPRD were in attendance – all of whom had a hand in the project.

Retired project manager Jim McMaster, representatives from the Portland-based construction company Scott/Edwards Architecture, CPRD board members and a handful of others tagged along for the celebration. Some of them rode with Ricker, who piloted a van to the event from Newberg with well-dressed CPRD folks in tow.

"It was really special and rewarding after years of hard work by so many people," Ricker said. "To have so many of them in attendance at the awards ceremony, especially after not all being together for a long time, was really special."

Ricker made a point to acknowledge the work of Scott/Edwards Architecture, which worked hand-in-hand with McMaster on the project from its inception. The building is, Ricker said, the peak of energy efficiency and is one of the most modern facilities of its kind in the country.

"They did a great job building something that was state of the art and had never been seen before in Oregon," Ricker said. "This is the forefront of the industry in the country as well, with the amenities that are provided and brought together to respond to our community's needs. We had an emphasis on inclusiveness for all abilities and generations.

"I also want to make sure and recognize that Triplett Wellman did a good job repurposing the old building. That area was especially a challenge because it was not new construction. I'm also happy with the work of Dan Cohen, our muralist, who did a tremendous job."

The award won last week now sits in CPRD's Newberg office, a reminder of the years of work put in by officials and construction workers to craft the aquatic and fitness center. More information on the award and on the fitness center itself – including hours, membership information, etcetera – can be found at www.cprdnewberg.org.


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