SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Mayor Christine Lundberg had the revolutionary idea: Take a banal urban edifice – a cement parking structure – and recast it as the catalyst that connects Springfield’s rich history with a forward-thinking future.
Her citizenry concurred, and now Springfield (population 60,000) plans to build a four-story parking structure out of cross-laminated timber (CLT).
Keep reading: They’re not crazy. It can be done. In fact, it is the backbone of a multi-pronged strategy to showcase sustainable design, grow jobs and improve high school graduation rates.
The garage will be the sole publicly owned building in the planned redevelopment of Glenwood (an incorporated area west of Springfield) along the Willamette River. The proposal also includes a hotel/conference center, commercial buildings, housing and parks.
Springfield’s school district saw opportunity in Lundberg’s idea as well. The educators want to improve student success and career readiness by capitalizing on the interest in mass timber and incorporating advanced manufacturing into the curriculum.
And Lundberg is just getting started.
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