OREGON CITY, Ore. – Clackamas County Commissioners gave the green light on Oct. 22 to begin construction for a new Oregon State University Extension Service Education Center in Oregon City.
The new building will be located on the southeast corner of Beavercreek and Warner Milne Roads – about two blocks east of OSU’s current Extension office location. Groundbreaking is expected this coming spring. Occupancy is projected for year-end 2020.
The new Extension Education Center will be a state-of-the-art, all-wood building featuring a modern Cascadian-style design and the latest technologies in wood construction –cross-laminated timber and mass plywood. The 22,000 square foot, two-story structure will include a 150-seat meeting and training room, a teaching kitchen, multiple smaller meeting rooms throughout the building, and a public Master Gardener Clinic.
"We are excited to have the County Commissioner’s support for the new Extension Education Center,” said Mike Bondi, OSU Extension liaison for Clackamas County. “The county is providing the site location on their Red Soils campus and we are using our Extension District funds to build this county-owned building. The center will be exclusively used by Extension. This is a real win for all of us in the community.”
Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader made the original motion to move this building forward in 2015.
“The OSU Extension Service has served Clackamas County residents for more than 100 years. This new building will allow our residents to continue accessing this resource to help live healthier lives, learn about our local ecosystems, and get involved with their communities. I am also excited about the opportunity to showcase mass timber in its design,” Schrader said after Tuesday’s meeting.
The new Extension Center is designed specifically for the needs of Extension and the community for years to come. The large meeting room and smaller meeting spaces will accommodate programming not possible in Extension’s current location. The teaching kitchen will provide upgraded facilities for adult and youth cooking and nutrition education, and expand collaboration opportunities in the community. The Master Gardener Clinic will include a library and diagnostic lab for sample analysis, plus outdoor demonstration gardens and a teaching greenhouse.
In addition, the Extension Education Center will be the first Net Zero public building in the county, meaning the building will generate all of its own electrical needs for the structure. Nearly 300 solar panels located on the roof of the center will generate the electricity. A north-south orientation to the building and super insulation will help make heating and cooling much more efficient in the building, and be key in achieving the Net Zero goal.
Further, the Extension Center will be a resilient building, able to withstand a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. The large meeting room could become the nerve center for communications by county government during a time of crisis.
With approval this week by the County Commissioners, the final building documents will be prepared and submitted for review and advertising for the public bidding process. Bidding is expected to begin by late November.