Urban Renewal Agency gives community center a thumbs up


Sherwood residents could see a new community and arts facility by next summer.

On June 7, the Sherwood Urban Renewal Agency agreed to move ahead with plans to convert an old machine shop into a facility that will be known as the Sherwood Community Center, approving a total price tag that can't exceed $2.5 million.

The remodeling of the facility is part of what's known as the Cannery Redevelopment Project, a larger endeavor that will eventually include commercial, retail and multi-housing development in Sherwood's Old Town.

City Manager Jim Patterson said the resolution passed Monday was put together by Mayor Keith Mays who wanted to include the best ideas from what the council and community members wanted to see included in such a center.

Patterson said despite belt-tightening by the city due to budget constraints - four employees have been laid off and city managers' salaries have been frozen - a slowdown in the economy has provided greater construction opportunities at better prices.

'You can build things in this economic environment that you couldn't five years ago,' he said.

The new community center is expected to include a theater complete with a stage and telescopic (retractable) seating with room enough for about 400 people.

Plans are to begin construction in late October or early November once the current machine shop relocates. (They are not expected to stay in the city.)

That means a new facility could be ready by sometime in mid-summer 2012.

'After years of dedicated and challenging work by members of our community the Sherwood Urban Renewal Agency Board came together in the spirit of diplomacy and compromise and moved this important part of the Cannery redevelopment project forward,' said Patterson. 'The new Sherwood Community Center will serve as another important anchor location in our efforts to revitalize our historic Old Town. The facility when completed will be a community meeting space that our citizens can be proud of.'