OREGON, Clackamas SWCD — By a 5-2 vote last month, CSWCD board members settled on a 8,542-square-foot Conservation Resource Center office building that will cost $5.23 million, plus room for a 10 percent contingency budget.
“I like the new design,” said District Board Treasurer Roger Fantz. “I could live with the approximately $5 million figure, because over the course of 30 years, it would pencil out to be a much better deal for the public.”
General Manager Tom Salzer pointed out that paying escalating rental costs will likely be less sustainable over the long term than CSWCD owning its own office space. Leasing its current office space on Molalla Avenue in Oregon City is costing taxpayers nearly $100,000 a year. With groundbreaking tentatively scheduled for February, Salzer says he expects the new offices will be move-in ready by the end of 2019.
Ballooning costs of construction have been an ongoing issue for CSWCD officials over the past couple of years. In 2016, the total cost of the 10,900-square-foot project for up to 30 employees was estimated at $4.37 million. CSWCD then expanded its wish-list for the building to 12,000 square feet, and got back a staggering $6.8 million price tag.
“It’s safe to say that every board member was gobsmacked by that number,” Salzer said. “The design team called it value engineering, but we preferred to call it hitting the reset button.”
Categories: District News