Wichita Center

North Clackamas School District recently requested a third-party appraisal for the value of the Wichita Property. Alongside other valuation and assessments, it will help guide our conversation. That assessment has been shared with the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District Board and staff. Both organizations have reviewed the appraisal and continue to work collaboratively toward a mutual outcome that will continue the operations of the services currently offered at Wichita. We have made progress and are confident that a final resolution is forthcoming. While the current agreement ends June 30, both parties are discussing a contract extension to assure that services are not interrupted and to allow for all details to be thoroughly vetted and finalized. The details of the main points of a potential agreement will be discussed and voted on at upcoming public meetings. Announcements will be made when those public meetings will be held. We thank the community, staff, and patrons of Clackamas County for their patience as we work through this critical issue.

Location: 6031 SE King Rd, Milwaukie, OR 97222

Who owns the Wichita Center? Who provides services at the site?

The North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) owns the former Wichita Elementary School and property. Multiple groups provide services at Wichita, including the North Clackamas School District (NCSD), Clackamas County, the Oregon Department of Human Services, and community non-profits. NCPRD does not provide social services at the Wichita Center. NCSD established the Wichita Center for Family and Community (Wichita Center) as a social services location in 2010, before NCPRD owned the site.

Is Clackamas County the same as North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District? Is the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners the same as the NCPRD Board of Directors?

NCPRD is a district with its own boundary, tax rate, and budget that are separate from Clackamas County. The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners also serves as the NCPRD Board of Directors. When making decisions as the NCPRD Board, the elected leaders consider the needs and best interests of the district.

How did NCPRD come to own the Wichita property?

In March 2018, NCPRD and NCSD entered into a partnership agreement. The partnership included the exchange of Hood View Park in Happy Valley for several former elementary schools (Concord, Clackamas, and Wichita). The agreement called for social services activities led by NCSD to temporarily continue through a transition period. NCPRD would be able to use Wichita for parks and recreation activities at the end of the transition period.

In October 2023, NCSD expressed interest in re-purchasing the Wichita property from NCPRD. The NCPRD Board directed staff to work with the school district to respond to that interest.

Why is the NCPRD Board considering selling the Wichita property?

NCPRD’s mission is to provide parks and recreation opportunities to district taxpayers. The NCPRD Board is taking a comprehensive look at the district’s services, properties, and budget to make sure the district is focused on that core mission. While the Wichita Center provides important services to the public, they are outside of the core parks and recreation mission of the organization.

Additionally, the Wichita building is in need of some repairs, including a new roof, and NCPRD does not currently have funding identified to complete those projects.

What is the NCPRD Board doing to ensure continuity of the services provided at the Wichita Center?

The NCPRD Board recognizes that the Wichita Center is a crucial resource for our community and appreciates the Center’s mission to provide programs for women, children, those with mental health needs, and those experiencing homelessness. In the interest of continuing those services, the NCPRD Board offered NCSD an exclusive opportunity to purchase the property.

NCPRD will continue to collaborate with NCSD with the goal of continuing services without interruption, maintaining the model of multiple resources at one location, and preserving access to transit.

Have any final decisions been made?

No final decisions have been made regarding ending the current use of Wichita or selling the building. The NCPRD Board is considering all their options to provide the most use and best value to parks district taxpayers. Any final decision would be discussed in a public meeting no later than summer 2024.

Are NCPRD and NCSD in communication regarding the Wichita Center?

Yes, both districts have been in communication regarding the property. NCSD expressed interest in purchasing Wichita in October 2023, prior to NCPRD providing notice of ending the transition period.

NCPRD is committed to working in good faith and maintaining an open dialogue with the school district and the community. As a service provider at the Wichita Center, Clackamas County is interested in making sure services continue for the benefit of the community.

How can the public provide input regarding this proposed change?

Any decision to sell the Wichita property will be made at a public meeting. The public is welcome to write the Board or testify at their weekly Business Meeting. Comments can be emailed to bcc@clackamas.us; details about how to testify can be found here.