Cannon Beach Mayor Sam Steidel discussed his ideas for the school rejuvenation project at a work session saying he envisions a multi-use facility, which would leave some of the more extensive remodeling for later phases.
The mayor said this was his vision, not the council’s and he hopes it will initiate discussion. A copy of his power point is on the city website.
At the work session presentation, the mayor led the councilors through a room-by-room description of his vision starting with the classrooms.
Classroom 4 would be left “pretty much as it is” for an art space, he said. He suggests upgrading classroom 3 into a “basic conference room, nothing fancy” with a sliding door between it and the adjacent classroom 2, allowing the option to combine the rooms.
He said he would have classroom 2 as an environmental exhibit room as well as a place for cultural and historical displays. He thinks classroom 1 could house a kitchen facility where the community could, among other things, bake Christmas cookies and hold pot luck dinners.
He thinks the kitchen could contain mobile cooking stations for the purpose of teaching.
He said he would like to see the city focus all its restroom facilities for the site in one space so the plumbing could be centralized. Later on in the meeting, councilors discussed whether this was feasible and if both the classrooms and the gym needed their individual restrooms to comply with code standards.
He thinks the breezeway and entryway should be rebuilt and re-roofed and perhaps utilize “artistic downspouts.”
“This is one spot where we can make an architectural” statement, he said. “We need to think about what we want the feel to be.”
He said he thinks the gym needs floor, lighting and door upgrades and to become ADA compliant.
He thinks the former small stage in the north room should be reinstalled and the west rooms used as a cloak room.
The upper office should be retained as an office, if that would be ADA compliant, he said. The loft could be used for facility operations and storage and also as a meeting space as it has “a nice view.”
The attic space could house heating, ventilation and mechanicals for the building, he said.
“The East Room has huge potential” because of its long narrow configuration making it “perfect” for exhibits. “It could be permanently locked separate from the gym.” The windows could be enlarged “so it has more connection to the garden space outside.”
Councilor Nancy McCarthy asked if the interpretive center would be just for Haystack Rock. The mayor said this is open for discussion but it could also provide space for cultural, historical and environmental exhibits. It contains about 75 feet of wall space.
The mayor said the gardens could be used for native and other species of plants and the “interpretive trail could go around the entire property.” The adjacent property is owned by the city and the two areas could be combined as one park.
The grove could become an outdoor classroom and is a natural site for a picnic area, he said. Young people like to gather in that area. He would move the berm over, leaving the field for sports and other functions.
He said an outdoor music venue is “very important” and could contain a movable sound shell or perhaps a gazebo.
He suggested a canoe or long house with one wall opening to the outside. He said he has had “a lot of discussion with Dick (Basch) about a canoe house.”
The mayor has some ideas about parking, which are on the city website in graphic form.
Councilor Mike Benefield said: “I like what you have put together. It makes a lot of sense.”
The council is at the point where it can start making decisions.
The mayor said the chamber of commerce was “quite concerned about (the project) as competition” to other venues in town.
“I don’t see it that way,” the mayor said. The additional space could be used cooperatively.
The councilors briefly discussed the various ideas and how far to go with plans before bringing in engineers to advise them on building code compliance.
Benefield said he was in favor of some architectural help to improve the exterior of the buildings to make them look more attractive.
The council discussed whether to incorporate the improvements to the food pantry in the school project.
No upcoming events on the discussion of the school project have been scheduled at this point, according to the city website.