Planning commission will now consider change at armory site

Lake Oswego’s Development Review Commission has approved conditional use and development review permits necessary for Park Academy to repurpose the Oregon National Guard Armory on Southshore Boulevard as a school.

If all goes according to plan, Park Academy would move into the new school in the fall of 2014 after remodeling the building, giving it a brick façade, a new roof, windows and landscaping and a play area out back.

School representatives have tentatively agreed to buy the building from the Oregon Military Department for about $2.5 million. The agreement hinges on the city of Lake Oswego approving a zone change and any necessary permits.

The roughly 23,000-square-foot building, constructed in the 1950s, sits on just more than 5 acres of land and is often mentioned as one of the last available large, buildable lots in the city. The military hasn’t used it since near the end of 2010.

The potential sale could be a boon for the city government, as Lake Oswego will benefit from the proceeds.

Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell of the Oregon Military Department previously said the sale would be a “partnership deal” with the city of Lake Oswego because of the way the military received the land about 50 years ago. At one point it was county property, but the county handed it over to the city, and the city then gave it to the military to use as an armory facility.

Park Academy is a private school serving students with dyslexia and other language difficulties. It has operated on the Marylhust University campus since it opened in 2005. About 50 students from throughout the Portland metro area attend the program, and the school is at capacity. The armory space would allow up to 120 students, although the school wouldn’t necessarily enroll that many.

The next step for the project is a planning commission hearing on March 25. Planning commissioners could then recommend that the city council approve or deny the new VERN UYETAKE - The old armory building could soon be sold and remodeled by a private school in Lake Oswego.

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