Mount Tabor facilities need costly face-lift

Public invited to view design for maintenance yard, nursery revamp

Plans for an estimated $80 million overhaul of Portland Parks & Recreation’s central maintenance yard and nursery at Mount Tabor Park will be presented to the public Nov. 15.

The design selected by a planning group would rebuild the yard and nursery at the park, located in Southeast Portland. It will be discussed at an open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gigibar, a coffeehouse at Southeast 60th Avenue and Division Street, near where the facilities are located.

The yard and nursery are more than 100 years old. Many of the maintenance buildings are in poor shape. Most have aging electrical connections and water lines. Some are leaning and held up by cables. Many are hard to heat in the winter. The nursery also is spread over several locations, making inventory control difficult.

The preferred design would replace all of the substandard buildings with new ones, add storage capacity and consolidate the nursery on a “long block” that parallels Division Street. The design incorporates sustainable building techniques, including green roofs, photovoltaics and storm-water treatments.

Two presentations and question-and-answer sessions will take place at 10 a.m. and noon. Representatives of the Opsis Architecture design team that is assisting the bureau will be present.

The design is expected to be presented to the City Council for approval in December.

The condition of the yard and nursery became a public issue after neighbors learned the bureau was considering selling 8.5 acres of park property to adjacent Warner Pacific College in 2006.

The controversy resulted in a series of mediated discussions between bureau staff and neighbors that led to the creation a planning group that is updating the Mount Tabor Master Plan, including the yard and nursery.

Funding for the project has not yet been identified. The preliminary cost estimate is likely to change as the plan and work schedule is finalized.

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