Lacamas Lake Lodge takes shape

Grand opening celebration is expected in April

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Rain or shine, workers have been busy at the construction site of the future Lacamas Lake Lodge and Conference Center. Contractor JWC Construction began work on the city of Camas project in July, and officials are aiming to have construction completed in time to hold the City Council's annual planning conference there at the end of January.

Electrical work is now being completed, and soon insulation and drywall will be installed inside the new Lacamas Lake Lodge and Conference Center.

Contractor JWC Construction began work in July on the 5,000 square foot building located on the banks of Lacamas Lake. It has slowly begun to take shape in the last couple of months.

“There hasn’t been any real unexpected challenges,” said Site Superintendent Chad Shumaker on Friday. “The city has been super easy to work with. This is going to be a beautiful building.”

The new $842,000 structure, owned and operated by the city of Camas, will consist of a large event space, two smaller meeting rooms, office space, kitchen, restrooms, storage, large covered patio and a 60-foot long dock.

The facility, located adjacent to Heritage Park, will also feature a fireplace with a mantle carved by a local artist using wood from a tree that formerly stood at the site. In addition, the building will have vaulted ceilings, with large windows to take advantage of the lake views.

The outside of the building features masonry work done by KGO Stone of Vancouver, using rock quarried from Camas.

Mayor Scott Higgins said he would like to hold the City Council’s annual planning conference in the lodge on Friday, Jan. 24 and Saturday, Jan. 25.

“It is our goal and intent to hold the annual planning conference in the new Lacamas Lake Lodge,” he said. “We are hopeful to meet that date; we believe we will. It may not be open for general public use the day after, but we are going to try to make that date.”

A community grand opening celebration is being tentatively planned for April.

When it opens, two Parks and Recreation Department employees will have their offices on site. The building will be available for rent by the public, and is expected to be the location of a variety of community activities as well as private events. The Camas Community Center, located at 1718 S.E. Seventh Ave., will continue to be the site of Parks and Recreation offices and activities as well.

Funding for the $2.1 million project is coming from a 15-year, $1.85 million, 3 percent interest loan from the State of Washington LOCAL program. Annual payments of $160,000 will be made from the city’s Growth Management Capital Facilities Fund using parks and open space impact fees and real estate excise taxes.

The remaining $350,000 is being provided by the Friends of the Camas Community Center, money that was gifted to the non-profit more than a decade ago through the estate of the late Christine Kropp.

The 5-acre site and a building that housed the Camas Moose Lodge were purchased by the city in 2000. The former Moose Lodge was razed in April — 13 years later.