Beaverton Elks break ground on new lodge
Club's new home is smaller, more modern and designed for the future.
Beaverton members are really putting the lodge into the new home for Beaverton Lodge No. 1989 of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks.
When finished late next summer, the new 8,000-square-foot building with natural wood accents will look more like an actual lodge than the neighboring 20,000-square-foot institutional structure the group has occupied for nearly 55 years.
There will be a formal lodge, a dining/banquet room, a lounge, an exercise room, business offices and a large wood deck overlooking a small stream. Business and community groups at times also will use the lodge.
The building will be the right size for a lodge with membership of around 500, which is stable today but far below the groups heyday of the 1970s, when membership numbered around 3,500, said Ron Gibson, a Beaverton Elks trustee.
Gibson said occupying the old building was simply too large, like owning a bicycle and having a four-car garage.
Elks members have been planning the move for a couple of years because the old building no longer fit their charitable and social activities. They decided what made the most sense for the club was to sell off the larger building and much of the club-owned 4 acres to a growing charter school.
Gibson said the money the club received in the sale and the cost of the new lodge are just about a trade-off for the $2.5 million project.
The portion of property they kept for the new lodge fronts 106th instead of 104th. Since the sale, the club is leasing back a few rooms at its old lodge until contractor Joseph Hughes Construction completes the new one, Gibson said.
Currently tight quarters are limiting some Elks activities in the short run. For example, members didnt have space for their usual food basket program but have been helping a local shelter for women and children.
Gibson said members hope to resume that basket program in future years while also continuing their other charitable and volunteer activities.
Members also built the new lodge with an eye to the future.
Its important for us to listen and learn and appease the younger generation because thats whos going to keep this lodge going, Gibson said.