Staff from Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) have begun construction on the Mt. Tabor Maintenance Yard Project, concluding a decades-long effort to renovate Mt. Tabor Park’s central maintenance facility.
With minor funding, the facility’s rehabilitation project began in 2014, according to the City of Portland’s website. This project has been delayed because of pandemic closures and considerable rises in construction costs.
The final planned outcome is a new entrance to Mt. Tabor Park as well as a remodeled PP&R yard and nursery. The new state-of-the-art building will greatly improve the often-unsafe conditions that current PP&R employees have to work in. It’s designed to meet a green building certification called Earth Advantage, a Portland-created green building program. The building is being constructed with lower-emitting materials and solar panels to provide energy to the building.
Residents of South Tabor have often had an uncomfortable route to access the park. A new paved multifunctional pathway connecting SE Division Street and SE 64th Avenue will give residents of the area an easier point of access to Mt. Tabor Park. The east edge of SE 64th Ave between SE Sherman and SE Lincoln Streets will be resurfaced with a new multimodal pathway completing a paved access to the park from Division Street. “It’s a bummer having to walk through like a dog park or having to walk around half the mountain just to get to the trails,” says Sam Haynes (12), a resident of South Tabor. “I’m hyped for the new entrance.”
PP&R will plant native landscaping and over 100 new trees around the site. Heather DeGrella, a sustainable design director at the architecture firm Opsis Arch and key architect for this project, emphasizes the project’s value to the community. “I’m really focused on making sure that this is a community project, this is all funded by a bond and our goal is to be responsible with the use of these public funds,” says DeGrella. “This project is really about improving the community and giving people safer access to the park.”
Work will be carried out over the next two years, with a completion date set for the summer of 2023. During the project’s construction, residents and other users of this area of Mt. Tabor Park can expect increased traffic and barricades to the park.