1. With the closure of Rivers Edge Athletic Club and the Mountain Park Pool there are no swim facilities in the city of Lake Oswego except the high school pool, which is clearly inadequate. Parking at the Mountain Park Recreation Center is insufficient for a heavily used public facility.
2. More than 1 million people are projected to move into Oregon in the next 20 years. Purchasing the Safeco property and its 14 acres ensures that we have adequate civic and recreation facilities for the future.
3. The revised plan for the community center will be contained within existing building envelope (89,000 square feet) except for the proposed gyms, skateboard park, and two pools.
4. Space is being reserved for a library to better serve the west end of the city. This could be a branch of 20,000 square feet on one floor or a full library of 40,000 square feet on two floors. Our existing library is in the middle of a residential area and cannot be increased in size without adversely impacting the First Addition neighborhood (and which would require a parking structure). While the city is continuing to evaluate our library needs, the reserved space can be leased out or used for other city needs.
5. Financing of the project does not have to happen all at once. The building can be secured now and built-out in phases as the dollars become available.
6. There is the possibility of public-private partnerships on a portion of the property that could defray costs. Private donations can be sought for specific programs.
7.A community center will help attract younger families to the city, which will aid our schools. The center will also be used by those who work on Kruse Way resulting in additional income for operations.
8. With the aging of the population in Lake Oswego, a multi-generational center can provide for 'wellness' programs to maintain health of active seniors.
9. The community center will provide a home for existing park and recreation programs, which are heavily used in the city and currently have inadequate space.
10. Public space will be available for community meetings, forums, neighborhood associations and receptions.
Please come to the Community Center forum on March 7th to learn more about the revised plans for the community center and why it deserves public support.
Rob Le Chevallier, Lake Oswego, is a member of the Community Center Steering Committee.