Concord School, Oak Grove (Photo: Drew Nasto)

Concord School

The Concord School is a landmark in the northern Clackamas County community of Oak Grove. The site has been home to a public school since 1890 and was, until its closure in 2014, a venue for civic events. The school was closed in June 2014 due to budget constraints and related downsizing and consolidation of the North Clackamas School District. The building currently sits vacant but retains its historic character. It is the hope of community stakeholders that the building will be repurposed in a manner that preserves its basic architectural features while providing for multiple community uses.

The first school to serve the Oak Grove community was a one-room log building constructed in 1856. It was replaced in 1866, but once outgrown, the second schoolhouse was itself obsolete.

Concord School

Year Built: 1936
Location: Oak Grove, Oregon

In 1890 the present site was acquired from the pioneering Oatfield family and a new schoolhouse constructed. It soon became known as the Concord School. Despite systematic additions to the 1890 school, it was demolished in 1936 when the present building was completed. The current Concord School building was constructed from a design by architect F.M. Stokes and partially funded with a Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works grant. This New Deal building is a fine example of WPA-era construction, and the only such example standing in the Oak Grove community. To accommodate growing student populations, a new wing was constructed in 1948.

The school district has maintained the building and grounds since the school’s closure. Following the school district’s decision to surplus the property in 2014, local citizens have rallied as the “Concord Partnership” to work with the school district and interested parties to find a solution for repurposing the building and grounds for the benefit of community use.

Threats

Threats to the property include deterioration from vandalism and weather, and an uncertain future without regulation or designation to protect its historic and architectural attributes.

Despite its eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, there is no regulatory protection afforded to Concord School. Regulations protecting historic sites – designated or not – in unincorporated Clackamas County provide no real protection, and the school is at risk of demolition or alteration by an unsympathetic owner.

The North Clackamas School District does not wish to continue to own and manage the property. In May 2015, the School Board voted to approve a recommendation presented by district staff to allow for up to 23 months for interested parties to research opportunities, create partnerships, secure funds, and develop plans to inform the future use of Concord.

Progress

December 2017
Negotiations for the transfer of the Concord School to the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District continue. Stakeholder meetings to determine a suitable use for the building are initiated with the participation of Restore Oregon and the Concord Partnership.

March 2017
Concord School Reuse Study completed by the Concord Partnership with funding from Restore Oregon and the Kinsman Foundation. It outlines three potential uses and configurations of the existing building to accommodate community-identified needs for a library, senior center, art center, or recreation and community center.

February 2017
The North Clackamas School District announces its intent to enter an agreement with the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District. This agreement will allow the transfer of assets between the two entities. The Concord School would be transferred to the Parks and Recreation District.

August 2016
Restore Oregon gives a $2,500 seed grant to the Concord Partnership to support project planning for adaptive reuse of the building.

February 2016
Community leaders assembling resources to conduct a feasibility study for reusing the school

November 2015
Listed as one of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places

This project was funded in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust and Kinsman foundation

, , , ,

Comments are closed.

Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation