Today we took a field trip to City Hall to speak with the enthusiastic and friendly John Morgan, the project manager for West Linn’s Waterfront Project. Our objective was to become more familiar with the Old City Hall District because students will be creating a model featuring their ideas for redevelopment of the area.
Mr. Morgan taught us about the history of the Willamette Falls area and the old Willamette Paper Mill. We learned that the closing of the old paper mill presented an opportunity to the city to develop the land for more public use. We learned about the city’s guiding principles for the project, which included river access, transportation improvement, preserving the historic character of the area, and the opportunity to reinvest in the community. We also learned about the many options for improving traffic as well as the pros and cons of each idea.
Lastly, students got together and brainstormed ideas for what they would like to see in the area. The long list of ideas included a dog park, an aquarium, a space for food carts, a gym, a hotel, and a boardwalk. Mr. Morgan plans on sharing this list with City Council members soon. Who knows, maybe a Willamette fourth grader will be responsible for one of the features in the waterfront development.