Construction of the new facilities at La Clair and Thomas in Coos Bay is an exciting conclusion to a long journey for ORCCA to find a permanent home. The path to build the new Food Bank and Child and Family Resource Center began in 2007. ORCCA’s mission to feed, house, warm, and educate children, families, and individuals in need led to the development of the two new facilities, which will significantly impact the lives of local families upon it’s completion in late August of 2012.
This plan was sparked by a number of combined factors. Notably the demolition of the Elrod Street Head Start Classroom to make room for the new fire station, persistent flooding at another location, and changes to the lease terms of other Coos Bay Facilities. Additionally, South Coast Food Share was at capacity and improved freezer cooler storage would allow it to move more food. A better plan for permanently housing ORCCA’s programs was needed.
ORCCA searched high and low for facilities to purchase and renovate that would meet program specific guidelines and allow for ORCCA to provide services in the event of a disaster such as a tsunami. However, the best option proved to building at the LaClair site.
Originally ORCCA had conceived a single building to house all of its programs. However, because of funding restrictions related to multi-use buildings, ORCCA planned to for a new central food bank, a Head Start Classroom Building, and a Child and Family Resource Center to house Head Start Administration and other ORCCA programs.
The LaClair Site was being leased from the Jensen Family Trust by Guardian Management, which had intentions of doing low-income housing and community facilities. ORCCA proceeded to move forward with site and Guardian. However, due to an inordinately high appraisal and funding restrictions, the deal was unable to go through.
In 2009, ORCCA began searching for other sites, pursuing options at the former Verizon building on LaClair and the airport but neither proved to work. By Fall 2009, ORCCA discovered that Guardian was no longer leasing the LaClair property and ORCCA began negotiations with the Jensen Family Trust to enter into a 50-year lease with the option to purchase once the trustee passes. ORCCA secured the property and was able to move forward in Spring 2010 to finalize the USDA Guarantee loan and New Markets Tax Credits transaction.
After going through an exhaustive competitive bid process for the Food Bank, Coos County and ORCCA began construction on the food bank in summer of 2011.
Due to the number of funding sources and each of their unique elements and novelty of the New Markets tax Credits, ORCCA was finally able to close the funding for the Child and Family Resource Center in December 2011 and start construction.
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