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New Villages Community Center gets permit

Clackamas County approved a conditional-use permit Tuesday, Feb. 27, for a potential new community center in Welches adjacent to the current Dorman Center.

The new center would house various community organizations, such as the Hoodland Women's Club, the Hoodland Senior Center, the Mt. Hood Coalition Against Drug Crime and a county library. Organizers now will proceed with fund-raising for the center.

'I'm ecstatic,' said Barbara Saldivar, coordinator of the project - an official supported activity of the Villages at Mt. Hood. 'From this point of view, it would appear like fund-raising is going to be picking posies compared to what I had to do.'

Saldivar said the estimated cost for the center three years ago stood at $3 million, but costs may have doubled since then. She also noted that no construction would begin until the project received full funding.

'I promised the (county) commissioners I would not go ahead with construction until we have the full amount in,' Saldivar said. 'There's nothing worse than having a half-finished building there.'

The center will consist of a one-story building with 31,500 square feet and include a commercial kitchen, three classrooms, a meeting hall and a gym.