After months of construction delays, Ali Alquraisha, the owner of Camas Produce, said he plans to open the store in mid-August.
The front of the store was demolished in January when the driver of a black SUV accidentally drove through causing significant damage to the structure and to appliances within.
Walking through the building, Alquraisha pointed out the front of the store has been re-framed with new steel, and they are awaiting the installation of new glass across the entire facade.
“The new glass is one of the things that has taken a significant amount of time,” he said. “We installed new steel frames, but had to order special glass.”
He also said January’s accident caused damage to the rear refrigerator, which had to be replaced.
“What looks like an easy fix, really isn’t,” he said. “We had to order a new refrigerator, and once we looked at replacing things, we realized we had to move the drain back three feet. That’s taken a lot longer than expected. Each new fix has a ripple effect, and things take several weeks to months to get resolved.”
Aesthetically, the store will have a fresh coat of paint, new floors, new tables, and the overall look and feel will change.
“We look forward to re-opening,” said Alquraisha. “Every day people stop by to check on us.”
Results of Toxicology Report
Camas Police said that Terra Stark, 39, of Camas, accidentally put the car in drive while parked at Camas Produce, and plowed through the front center of the building. Her teen son was in the vehicle with her.
The Camas Police reported the results of the toxicology test Friday evening.
“Toxicology results just came back today for this investigation; Scoles-Stark’s blood alcohol level was .26,” said Camas Police Public Information Officer, Debrah Riedl. “This is how busy our Washington labs are.”
The legal limit in Washington is .08.
Riedl said charges are pending lab results, and that Stark would be booked and released. She expects her to face charges this Thursday in court.
Camas, WA — There’s still time to purchase 2019 Ducky Derby tickets, which is part of the annual Camas Days celebration.
The event, which is organized by the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club, has allotted 5,000 tickets to be raffled off for the Derby, at a cost of $10 apiece.
“This is the annual fundraiser for the local Rotary Club, which goes to all the projects we support,” said John Tennant, of CW Rotary. “The money we raise supports scholarships, Young Men/Women in Action, High School robotics, polio, food drives, and provides essential money to be able to function.”
When people purchase tickets, they’re given a ticket stub receipt, and the main ticket is attached to each of the 5,000 rubber ducks. Rotarians recently hosted a tagging party, attaching the tickets to each duck.
The race begins on Sunday, July 28 at noon on the Third Avenue Bridge in Camas, when a front-loader donated by Nutter Corporation tips its bucket and unloads over 5,000 plastic ducks into the water below. From there, the current takes over and the ducks dash to the finish line. The fastest ducks down the river will win prizes for those who’ve adopted them. The entire community is invited to come to see the Ducky Derby Race. The grand prize is a weeklong Alaskan cruise plus $1,500 for expenses. The second prize is $1,000 cash, and there is more than $8,500 in prizes overall.
You can still buy tickets through Sunday, and the CW Rotary Club will have a booth at Camas Days. It’s likely the tickets will sell out half way through Camas Days. Each ticket is sold person-to-person.
Camas-Washougal Rotary Club is part of an international service organization that works to improves communities by assisting with education, health services, charitable giving, and disaster relief. The local chapter meets every Thursday and holds several special events throughout the year.
After reviewing 12 Camas Community Aquatics Center and sports fields options Monday night, Camas City Council voted unanimously to present one of those options to voters in the coming days, weeks, and months. It’s the next step in gathering public input on design, features, and costs.
Option I was selected, which gives Camas City staff specific directions as to how to proceed with planning, includes a community aquatics center design with two pools (a recreational pool with slides and an 8-lane, 25 yard competitive pool), extensive gym, community/event room, and a complete renovation of three Camas sports fields.
Under the direction of Camas Mayor Shannon Turk, Camas city staff has been drafting community aquatics center and sports fields designs in preparation to put a general obligation bond to voters on the November ballot. They have until August 6 to submit details in order to make the ballot.
“Voters have told us repeatedly they want a new community aquatics center and address sports fields concerns,” said Turk. “I feel we’re moving in the right direction.”
Monday’s vote is about water safety, said local resident, Doug Lumbard, who attended the session.
“We don’t have a community pool,” he said. “Swimming is multi-generational, and anybody from little babies to senior citizens will be able to use this new pool. It has something for everyone.”
The preferred site for the community aquatics center is six acres of city-owned property near Fallen Leaf Lake on Lake Road, across from Heritage Park.
At Monday’s council workshop, Camas City Administrator Pete Capell presented 12 options to council.
“All options include the $5.8 million expense for offsite traffic and signal improvements, including adding significant parking at Heritage Park,” said Capell. “The Sierra and Lake Road intersection has been close to needing warrants for a signal, and it’s been a problem area so we’ve included funding for signals at Lake and Sierra, as well. The site has a lot of topography to it. Designers are trying to minimize the footprint as they work with the topography.”
This proposed community aquatics center design (78,000 square feet) has three floors, with both recreational and competitive pools that have very flexible elements. To the west are locker rooms and support spaces. This design will have roll-up doors to the east facing Fallen Leaf Park to create a more outdoor pool feeling. The second floor has a basketball gym with casual seating areas, and a meeting/party room with access to an outdoor terrace in a forest setting. The third floor has a small multi-purpose room for revenue generating purposes. The recreation pool is for all age groups and will include a slide and other fun water features. The competitive pool will have eight 25-yard lanes and spectator seating for 300. The proposed design has a lobby with views of the competition pool, which will have a lot of natural lighting. Cost: $53 million for the aquatics center, plus $19 million for the gym and community room. The city is preparing better cost breakdowns because the building is not that expensive — a lot of the cost is site work.
“We are tucking the building into the hillside,” said Capell. “There are many grades. The gym is tucked into the hillside. The building works with the topography and has a concentrated footprint with a good setback from Lake Road. Has real simple roof shapes with a lower profile. It has nice illumination.”
Sports Field Renovations
Council nixed the inclusion of a totally new sports complex in this general obligation bond, stating this should be part of a separate bond, but they did propose making extensive renovations to three existing parks: Forest Home, Prune Hill Sport Park, and Dorothy Fox Field.
The Forest Park renovation would convert the two fields to synthetic turf and make several site improvements. The Prune Hill Sport Park renovation would have synthetic turf in the lower field, and smaller turf soccer fields, as well as installation of field lighting. At Dorothy Fox, the existing soccer and lacrosse fields would be converted to turf, plus lighting would be installed.
“Adding turf and lighting would create a longer window of time for use,” said Capell.
The cost of the sports field renovations: $6 million.
The recent open house for the new community aquatics center and sports fields was well attended, and the city has used feedback from that meeting, as well as online feedback to guide their decisions.
Capell said the leisure and competitive pools are very popular. Using Option I as guidance, the city will have a booth at Camas Days that will provide the public with details, and another opportunity to provide input on designs and programming.
Community members, including Randy Curtis, expressed concerns are about parking given the popularity of Heritage Park in the summer. He is also concerned about community aquatics center users crossing Lake Road for access.
The project includes significant parking and traffic enhancements – not only at the site of the new community aquatics center, but also nearby – to ensure maximum access, traffic flow, and safety for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. The following is part of the overall Option K plan:
At Heritage Park, 100 vehicle and eight trailer parking stalls will be added for a total of 152 vehicle and 53 trailer parking spaces.
Lacamas Lake Lodge will maintain its 66 existing vehicle parking spaces. At the community aquatics center itself, 134 vehicle parking spaces will be constructed. Patrons may also utilize parking at Heritage Park and Lacamas Lake Lodge.
These parking projects add 242 new parking spaces for a total of 405 spaces in the area.
Additional frontage improvements, site work, and Lake Road upgrades will be implemented.
A traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of NW Sierra Street and NW Lake Road.
The upcoming roundabout at NE Everett Street and NE Lake Road will further promote access, traffic flow, and safety.
City planners have carefully looked at the traffic impact if we have an aquatics center would be built at this location. They went out to 2040 for planning and their research showed the overall impacts are fairly minimal from the community center aspect. From a queuing stand point, it was an additional car length. Council member Ellen Burton expressed concern about increasing boat traffic. To which Capell said: “They’re already there, and they’re parking on the street. It’s an unsafe situation. This plan calls for additional parking to get boaters off the street.”
The council’s vote Monday night caps the November bond at $78 million. Council members asked staff to look for ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality.
“This ordinance number sets a maximum and allows us to work down from that,” said Camas City Finance Director, Cathy Nickerson. “The number in the ordinance is what will go on the ballot measure, but council has the ability to use that as a maximum amount. The debt service from that bond issue is what you would levy.”
“I’m so excited by the visuals,” said Council member Don Chaney. “I feel comfortable with the plans. We started this looking at this piece of property, but remember there are costs, and we own that property. I really think we move on this but not be blind to other potentials down on the road. Let’s go with the max, and for the full project.”
Council member Greg Anderson called for a motion to approve Option I, which was supported unanimously by council.
“A lot of work went into this,” said Anderson. “The full meal deal makes a lot of sense, but it’s a big ask. And there’s A LOT in this ask. I hope we stick with this location. It would have to be compelling for me to support a different location. I’m on board for the full deal. We need to sound committed to it. We can’t be wishy washy or it will not fly in November.”
A lot of heavy lifting is still necessary. For example, Curtis, who presided over the construction of Salem’s Kroc Center Pool, said the city needs to determine programming, specific designs, and weigh all the maintenance costs.
Paying For Community Aquatics Center
There was discussion about deferring the community/gym/event space to phase two to give the city more time to seek grants and private funding, which would lower overall debt service by $19 million. Given Monday’s vote, the maximum annual cost would be $474 per median home value of $464,400.
In 2021, the Camas Library levy expires, as does a $1.32 school bond, which gives the city $1.44 in additional capacity. The levy would go down in 2021. Camas School District said their forecast that a new bond levy won’t be required until 2026.
Chaney emphasized that the city find ways to spend less money on the overall project.
“It’s important to find cost savings,” said Chaney. “This is the people’s money.”
18th LD State Representative Larry Hoff was in attendance, and said the city is wise to plan for the future, and look 20 years ahead.
“The city is only going to grow,” said Hoff.
“How is the school district aligned with this?” asked resident Susan Schultz. “I know the high school teams are having a hard time getting some lanes to swim in. I would hope this pool has all the things we need for competitive swimming. Make sure the schools are aligned with the planning. Make sure parking can handle 2-4 buses.”
“This is a win for safety,” said Lumbard. “This will give children and people of all ages the opportunity to learn how to swim year-round. I hope the community adds their input on design and programming.”
“I’m very excited about the possibilities,” said Mayor Turk at the close of Monday’s session.
https://i0.wp.com/lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/8489E7CF-221F-4989-A9C7-CA360D15C729.jpeg?fit=1488%2C710&ssl=17101488Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lacamas_white-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-07-16 16:28:172019-07-18 22:56:47Camas Takes Community Aquatics Center Design, Sports Field Renovations to Next Step
The Hammond Kitchen & Craft Bar has just launched their summer menu, which includes three new small plates, two new sides, two new salads, two new pizzas, nine new drinks, and six new mains.
“Our team has been working hard to change things up for summer,” said Gwen Goodrich, co-owner of The Hammond. “We source so much of our fresh vegetables and meats from local farms, and we think you’ll be pleased with the new menu additions.”
New Small Plates
Duck Liver Pate: Pistachios, crostini, mustard assorti, mama lil’s pepper jam, with olives and almonds.
Tomato Jam Toast: Housemade focaccia, chèvre goat cheese from Portland creamery, herbs, freshly grated parmesan.
The Clark County Public Health Department has officially lifted health advisories at both Lacamas Lake and Round Lake in Camas as the blue-green algae, also called blooms of cyanobacteria, left both bodies of water in recent days, according to a Public Health statement released Tuesday.
Warmer temperatures increase the risk of algae blooms returning, and Public Health advises swimmers and boaters to be on the lookout for floating blue-green scum and to avoid any contact.
Lacamas Lake has had many health advisories in the past, and many locals are aware of it history. Local residents complain that toxic runoff from lawn fertilizer is to blame, while others cite the man-made lake lacks proper water flow, which increases the likelihood of blue-green algae issues.
Public Health also said that blue-green algae blooms are still present in other Clark County recreation spots, including Vancouver Lake’s Burnt Bridge Creek inlet while a warning remains at Vancouver Lake, which tested positive for elevated levels of cyanotoxins just days ago.
Public Health collected water samples for testing earlier this week, and if toxins are no longer present, then Vancouver Lake’s warning may change.
Vancouver Lake’s algae blooms have been presented since June 12, and Public Health will continue to monitoring the lake by taking regular water samples to test for possible toxins.
https://i1.wp.com/lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/25EC24D8-7095-4FC4-A9FC-9BC441B2BFB5.jpeg?fit=1023%2C503&ssl=15031023Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lacamas_white-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-07-02 23:22:112019-07-02 23:23:51Health Department: Lacamas and Round Lake Health Advisories Lifted
Camas High School student Ria Patel is coordinating an American Red Cross Blood Drive scheduled for July 31 from 1-6 pm at Camas-Washougal Fire Station 42. The fire station is located at 4321 NW Parker Street, Camas, WA 98607.
Patel, who was recently recognized by Camas-Washougal Rotary Club as Sophomore Student of the Month for her academic achievements and community efforts, has been working on this for a few weeks.
“This has always been a goal of mine because it’s pretty inspirational,” said Patel. “It’s inspirational because for every pint of blood you save three lives. I think that’s pretty incredible. I just want to give back to the community.”
To host an event requires extensive work with an American Red Cross coordinator. Patel also works as a treasurer for the Camas Red Cross Club.
To schedule your appointment for this blood drive, please visit www.redcrossblood.org, and enter sponsor code: camashs or contact Ria at 360-823-8315.
Presenting donors will receive a Clark County Fair ticket.
You can streamline your blood drive donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by visiting www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to complete you pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your donation.
About American Red Cross + Blood Drive
Red Cross volunteers and staff work to deliver vital services – from providing relief and support to those in crisis, to helping you be prepared to respond in emergencies. They provide disaster relief, lifesaving blood, training and certification, international services, and assistance to military families. The blood drives help ensure there’s enough blood to meet vital needs in this area and around the country.
From their website: “Even while the Red Cross adapts to meet the changing needs of the people we serve, we always stay true to those roots. Are you familiar with the classic images of Red Cross nurses helping American soldiers and civilian war victims during World War I? In fact, as you read this Red Cross staff and volunteers are still deploying alongside America’s military. Maybe you’ve taken a class through the Red Cross, such as first aid certification or how to swim. Did you know we’ve been offering similar training since the early 1900s? Have you ever given blood or received donated blood? The Red Cross developed the first nationwide civilian blood program in the 1940s and we still provide more than 40% of the blood products in this country.”
https://i0.wp.com/lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/70D0F16B-9853-45F3-AB51-B3AB99C51277.jpeg?fit=2736%2C1162&ssl=111622736Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lacamas_white-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-07-01 19:42:242019-07-01 19:52:35Camas High School Student Planning, Hosting Late July Blood Drive
A Beer at a Time, located in historic Downtown Camas, is always adding new things to enhance the customer experience. Known for making good pizza, the Alfredo Garlic Chicken pizza has become a crowd favorite! This pie is made with garlic Alfredo ranch base, bacon, mozzarella chicken and red onions. With these toppings this pizza will not disappoint.
A Beer at a Time also provides live music, with a performance today by Robby Mayer from 7pm-10pm, no Cover. Wayne Havrelly is performing on July 5th. Stay tuned for an announcement for next performance on July 6th, 7pm-10pm. There is no Cover.
A Beer at a Time has space is available for private parties and events! Call today and reserve your dates.
“This is a great venue for a party or business event,” said Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association. “They’ve created a great space using elements of local history.”
Local merchants also love to promote A Beer at a Time.
“They’re great neighbors,” said Lori Morris, owner of The Artful Attic, which is located across the street on 3rd Avenue. “They always help promote our business, and we’re definitely big supporters. We love what they do over there! My husband loves their pizza and goes over to visit often. They’re also a great place to host parties, and just relax with live music. They work hard to take care of people, and we highly recommend them!”
They have 51 beers on tap plus 4 wines, 5 hard ciders, pizza, wings and other delicious options. And now serving Spirts.
https://i0.wp.com/lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/58EFC4F5-EB56-464D-B613-0CBB640E0CAD.jpeg?fit=3024%2C1926&ssl=119263024Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lacamas_white-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-06-29 13:48:072019-06-29 13:51:54Food + Dining Scene: A Beer at a Time Has a Great Alfredo Garlic Chicken Pizza
The highly successful Arktana Shoes is opening its second store in Felida (by Vancouver Lake) on Monday, July 1, with a special grand opening celebration set for July 23.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and we found the perfect spot here in Felida,” said owner Ann Matthews. “We’re so excited to make this happen. It’s a fun expansion, although there is risk involved. We have a good following in Camas and the surrounding areas, so feel it was time to grow.”
Matthews has been working with contractors for months building out the brand-new space to fit their needs. And, although it’s a new build out, the interior reflects the Camas store and overall Arktana Shoes brand with a red brick wall, clean lines, and quality products.
Photographer Lara Blair sat down with Matthews, and asked her several questions.
Question: Why another Arktana Shoes?Why open another store?
Answer: I started looking for a new location a year ago, and I looked all over the place. When I found this place there were already Camas-based businesses over here. Camas Star Cycle is out here, Grapes and Growlers, so is Los Potrillos, and we love them! It’s like a little hub of Camas that moved to Felida. I love this community and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.
Question: Is it risky?
Answer: It feels very scary. Are people going to find us? Will they support retail out here? It’s new here, there’s not a lot of retail out here. My gut drew me to this, and I have complete faith. We have such loyal clients.
Question: Who’s your client?
Answer: My client is anybody from mom’s to business people to those who travel. We cater to a lot of travelers. We have every day wear, but we also cater to the dressier side. One thing unique to Arktana is that we do extra extra small to 3X, we have the plus sizes and the little tiny sizes. Our shoes are sizes 5 to 11 and that is also a very important component. We buy the comfort lines that are a little wider, and we can accommodate the narrow foot, as well.
Question: How does the Arktana Felida differ from the Camas store?
Answer: The Felida store will have more clothing than the Camas store, but you will still see lots of shoes, although there will be different color options in Felida. You may see navy shoe in Camas, and red shoe in Felida. Or we might throw a red in Camas and a navy in Felida. And, if you want a red and we only have blue in Felida, we can bring over a red shoe from our Camas store. We’ll take care of you.
Question: Will Ann be at both stores? There’s concern that Camas will no longer see you.
Answer: That has been so funny to me. I have gotten the sweetest emails and texts. We are not going to close Camas. This is a second location. We are absolutely not leaving Camas. I will be at both stores. I’ll be honest, in ]uly I’ll be at Felida a lot more as we get this store up and running. I do intend to be at both stores in the same day. If somebody wants to be ahold of me personally, I will be accessible. I will be there for you — at both stores. I’m not going away.
The new store is located at 10706 NW Lakeshore Avenue, Suite 108, Vancouver, WA. Their special grand opening is scheduled for July 23. Learn more at www.Arktana.com
https://i2.wp.com/lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/8A758849-E777-4772-9BBF-F99AFD484505.jpeg?fit=4032%2C1803&ssl=118034032Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lacamas_white-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-06-28 13:59:272019-06-28 13:59:37Camas-based Arktana Shoes to Open Second Boutique in Felida July 1
Love for the Linton’s took on a new meaning earlier this week.
The Jeff and Erin Linton Camas home was turned upside down recently when their four-year-old son, Camden, was diagnosed with an inoperable and aggressive brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). There is no known cure for DIPG.
The devastating news is still very hard for Camden’s parents to discuss. Camden undergoes radiation treatment several times a week, which is taxing on the entire family — both emotionally, and financially. Each day is a battle.
“We’re all very emotional right now,” said Erin. “But, we’re so grateful for this incredible love we feel from the community.”
The Linton’s are buoyed by their religious faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and the daily support system it brings. Fellow church goer, Kristen Gardiner, who’s been instrumental in supporting the Linton’s, said she’s felt all the emotions of pain, sorrow, love, and despair. But, she also felt she needed to try to help the family financially.
“We can’t take this problem away,” said Gardiner. “But, we can give them comfort and know they’re loved.”
On June 13, Gardiner sprang into action, and asked Erica Slothower, owner of Natalia’s Cafe in downtown Camas, via Facebook IM, to host a fundraiser. This reporter watched Erica read the message, and without a second’s hesitation, she agreed to do it.
“Wendy and I just jumped in!,” said Slothower. “We started to make a plan, Wendy reached out to businesses for donations, and we all got the message out. We set a date for June 24 and called it Love for the Linton’s, and used the hashtag #Carnival4Camden. We added the Silent Auction hoping we’d raise $20,000.”
Businesses lined up to support the carnival, and dozens of businesses and individuals donated gift baskets, gift cards, and services to support the cause. By June 24, Natalia’s Cafe was turned into a Silent Auction house, and the adjacent property and parking area turned into a kid’s carnival with food, games, and music. The event started at noon.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association, which co-hosted Love for the Linton’s. “We far exceeded our goals! The people in Camas are amazing!”
More than 300 people made bids at the Silent Auction and the carnival was very well attended, and even extended its time allotment to 5:30 pm. The auction ended at 7 pm. 100 percent of proceeds would go to the Linton’s. Businesses ate the overhead.
“I’m having trouble piecing together words that adequately convey my gratitude for everyone who helped make today such a massive success,” said Gardiner. “So I’ll just say thank you. I’m overwhelmed by the love and generosity of our community. Thank you a million times over.”
At the end of the day, Slothower handed Gardiner a bucket with $14,500 in cash to deliver to the Linton’s.
“There’s still a lot more coming in,” Slothower said. “The Silent Auction money is still being counted.”
Gardiner broke down in tears.
While the Linton’s prefer to not disclose the final numbers, both the cafe and DCA report “the event far surpassed the $20,000 goal.”
“I love this town,” said Slothower. “We came together for a little boy and his family in their time of need.”
The Linton’s did briefly attend the event, but because of Camden’s condition they didn’t stay long. Erin Linton released this statement:
“There are no words sufficient to properly express our awe and humble gratitude for the outpouring of love and support from our Camas community. It is life changing to be on the receiving end of such kindness from others, many who do not even know us personally. The collective rallying power and genuine goodness we have felt has lifted us during our time of heaviness, making our hearts a bit lighter. We are proud to call Camas our home and feel enveloped in so much love! Please accept our sincere thanks for all the support.”
Editor’s Note: School Board acquires Underwriters Laboratories site for future educational programming funded in part by impact fees. Funding for this property purchase comes from funds not part of the Camas School District operating budget.
At its regular meeting on June 24, the Camas School Board approved the purchase of Underwriters Laboratories, located at 2600 NW Lake Rd, Camas, for use in educational programming. Centrally located in Camas, the nearly 58 acre parcel and 115,000 square foot building are tax assessed at $19.5 million; the District will purchase both for $12 million.
Funding for the purchase will come from a variety of sources:
$3.3 million in impact fees: Impact fees come from private dollars (typically from construction companies and developers) as new homes and neighborhoods are constructed. School districts receive these fees because of the impacts new developments have on communities. These funds are currently sitting in a CSD bank account to be used only for capital projects and improvements. Annually, CSD receives $500,000 from impact fees.
$3.7 million from the District’s capital projects fund: This is bond money set aside for property acquisition, which is currently in the CSD capital fund bank account. These monies remain in the capital fund, for projects such as the Garver Theatre remodel.
$5.0 million in a non-voted limited general obligation bond: This is a bank loan. According to CSD Business Services Director Jasen McEathron, CSD would take out a loan from a Pacific Northwest bank who invests in these type of securities. It is usually paid back over 10 years. The loan is currently being secured and will likely be ready in 60 days.
Monday’s unanimous school board vote approves a resolution to move forward with this purchase sale agreement — and it gives Superintendent Jeff Snell the authority to sign it.
McEathron noted the District anticipates being able to pay for the non-voted limited general obligation bond without impacting the general fund by using state forest funds, future impact fees, or in a future voter-approved bond. These funding sources cannot be used to pay for daily operational costs including staffing and compensation.
“It is important to understand that while we’re currently reducing our operating budget due to the State’s shift in school funding, the revenue streams we’ll utilize for paying for property are legally separate. We can’t use bond dollars or impact fees to pay for staff,” commented McEathron.
“We’ve had a challenging year related to our budget shortfall and resulting reductions in staffing, and it may seem counterintuitive to purchase property at a time when our operating budget is in decline,” said Superintendent Jeff Snell. “However, long-range planning points to continued growth in our community and compels us to act when presented with extraordinary opportunities that will benefit students.”
The Underwriters Laboratories land borders the Skyridge Middle School campus, making the location amenable to future expansion. The district intends to lease the building initially and is exploring the possibility for shared use partnerships with industry and higher education. Work is underway to update the district long-term strategic plan and district leaders are excited about the opportunities the UL property presents for future generations.
“It could be another comprehensive high school, and could be something else entirely, ,” said Snell. “Whatever we decide to do from a programming standpoint, we’d have to get stakeholder and community input first. This could be several years away. We may lease it out for a period of time, and we are also looking at sports fields conversions on the 58 acres. This is an opportunity to address whatever needs the district has moving forward.”
“This feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is extremely rare to find a flat parcel of land this size in the center of town that is surrounded by fully developed neighborhoods,” said CSD Board President Doug Quinn. “The existing building provides an opportunity to repurpose for school use if needed for less cost than constructing a new one. This is a win for our students and Camas taxpayers.”
This purchase marks the second instance where the District obtained an existing business property. In 2016, the District purchased a 39-acre parcel and 54,000 square foot building from Sharp Microelectronics for $12.5 million. The building was converted to Odyssey Middle School and the 2016 bond-funded Discovery High School was built on this site. The conversion allowed the district to gain an additional school beyond what was a part of the bond program.
Snell said the costs to retrofit a school have been considered and CSD has learned how to best do that given their experience with the Sharp building conversion.
“We know how to do it and what to expect,” said Snell.
UL has operated at the Camas site since 1994. Their headquarters in is Northbrook, IL.