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Design work to begin on new Lake Oswego Police/911 facility

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Project will coincide with a long-overdue restoration of the exterior of City Hall

REVIEW PHOTO - Lake Oswego's new downtown police/911 facility would be located adjacent to City Hall and extend to the corner of A Avenue and Third Street, replacing a medical office building and the current home of LexiDog Boutique & Social Club.Architectural design and engineering work is about to begin on the new police/emergency dispatch facility in downtown Lake Oswego.

Members of the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency board authorized the City to award a $1.5 million contract to the Northwest design firm Mackenzie after hearing a briefing last week from Deputy City Manager Jordan Wheeler.

“They have assembled a very highly qualified and experienced team,” Wheeler said, “and they’re eager to get started.”

Mackenzie was one of three firms that submitted bids for the first stage of the project, which will occupy the property directly east of City Hall at Third Street and A Avenue. Wheeler said the company was selected in part because of its prior experience with other police facilities, including new stations in West Linn, Albany, Canby, Woodburn, Gresham and Sandy.

The design phase will also include an assessment of the condition of City Hall, which has been damaged by years of inadequate drainage that allowed water to seep into exterior walls. The building is still structurally sound, City officials have said, but the exterior “skin” needs to be completely redone.

Since the new police station will be built next door to City Hall, the plan is to coordinate the two projects to make sure that both buildings have complementary exteriors.

Mackenzie will perform a more detailed evaluation of the walls in order to get a better estimate of the work that needs to be done, as well as an assessment of the building’s seismic resistance in order to come up with cost estimates for safeguarding the building against a potential large-scale earthquake.

“This will help us understand what we’re working with,” Wheeler said, “and what we need to do.”

The contract for design and engineering services has a budget of $1.4 million, plus an additional $120,000 for the assessment of City Hall. Overall, the cost of the new police/911 facility is estimated at $15 million, excluding the $2.5 million cost of acquiring the land for the project. The City Hall renovation is projected to cost $5 million-$6 million.

The new police station is being built using urban renewal dollars from the East End Capital Projects Fund, but the City Hall repairs will require money from the general fund. Only $920,000 has been saved for the project so far, which

means the remaining funding will need to be set aside in subsequent years.

Even though the contract was just assigned, the work is expected to proceed very quickly. At the next LORA meeting on Nov. 15, the board will begin to discuss options for the front portion of the lower floor of the police station, which is tentatively intended to serve as retail space along A Avenue. Up to 5,000 square feet of retail space could be included, depending on the final design of the building.

The board and City staff will also begin to develop a public involvement plan for the design process.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Wheeler said, “and we’re going to get going pretty fast and pretty furious.”

Before the vote to authorize the contract, councilor Jeff Gudman applauded his fellow councilors on the progress made on several municipal projects and other achievements in recent years. As the longest-serving member of the current council, Gudman recalled a list of a dozen City projects that were floundering on standby at the time he took office.

Since then, he said, “we’ve made a lot of good things happen.”

Gudman listed a series of recent projects that have either been completed or started, including the sewer interceptor, the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership, the Waluga reservoir roof, the improved Pavement Condition Index score for roads, the Boones Ferry Road project, the new Operations Center, the library workroom renovation and the police station.

“When you look at that collective list,” he said, “to me, that’s pretty focused on creating a first-rate infrastructure.”

Contact Anthony Macuk at 503-636-1281 ext. 108 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..