Its been 15 years since the idea was orginally proposed

by: RAY PITZ - Members of the Sherwood City Council break ground on the new Sherwood Cultural Arts Community Center Friday afternoon.Threatening dark rain clouds and a little bit of mud weren’t enough to deter residents from packing into a tent Friday afternoon for groundbreaking ceremonies to kick off construction of the new Sherwood Cultural Arts Community Center building.

Now, the $4.4 million building, which was originally conceived almost 15 years ago, is expected to be completed before 2014 is over.

“It’s been an important journey for our community,” said Robyn Folsom, a member of the Sherwood City Council who previously served as an early member of the Sherwood Cultural Arts Commission, the group that helped push the project forward. “This will be the largest performing arts space in the city.”

Folsom said along the way, some residents were discouraged at how long it was taking to get the project off the ground but a large number of people were responsible for seeing it through.

“It took a village and then some over a long time,” she pointed out.

Linda Henderson, also a member of the Sherwood City Council and a longtime arts supporter as well, said she was happy the project was getting off the ground.

“It is truly a wonderful day for the city of Sherwood,” said Henderson, who stressed that the project would not have happened “if Robyn Folsom didn’t live in this town.”

Assistant City Manager Tom Pessemier who worked on the project over the years said he has never worked on a project that included so much community involvement and energy.

“This feels like a homecoming,” he said.

Not that the project hasn’t been without obstacles.

In 2012, the city had to remove about $400,000 worth of items from the center to bring it in on budget. Then original plans to locate the new facility inside a former machine shop already on site were dashed due to structural deficiencies involving some of the buildings trusses. As a result, that building was razed in April 2013.

The main entrance of the 15,000-square-foot building will be along Pine Street, directly across the street from Cannery Square Plaza. Ankrom Moisan is the center’s architects with Corp. Inc. named as general contractors.

Highlights of the new structure include:

• Having the ability to seat up to 400 people.

• The installation of retractable telescoping seating

• The fact it will contain a total of 3,000 square feet of the building will be dedicated retail space with revenue benefiting the city. Anywhere from one to three retailers, which have yet to be determined, will occupy that space, according to city officials.

by: CITY OF SHERWOOD - Here's what the new Sherwood Cultural Arts Community Center will look like.

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