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Courthouse Park Plaza

CITY PROJECT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH COUNTY

The Skamania Courthouse Park Plaza project has been a vision of the community since 2012. In 2016, the Stevenson Downtown Association led a community design process to create a design concept for the new plaza. The 2016 preferred design, "Looking to the Future" by Rock Cove Design, was aspirational and intended to build momentum for the project and fundraise for future design and construction. 

 

Currently, the City of Stevenson -- in partnership with the Stevenson Downtown Association and Skamania County -- is working through revised design concepts from Understory Landscape Architecture, LLC. These new design concepts are more in alignment with the construction project budget; Understory calculated the "Looking to the Future" design from 2016 would now cost more than $8.5M to construct, which is not attainable.

2023 PLAZA COMMUNITY SURVEY: 

  • Overall, 71% are in favor of project 

  • 84% downtown stakeholders in favor of project (i.e. work, live, own downtown)

  • 66% of residents 5+ miles from downtown in favor of project

  • 83% daily visitors in favor of project

  • 74% weekly visitors in favor of project

  • 68% monthly visitors in favor

  • 59% “less than once a month” visitors in favor

Scroll to bottom for additional data.

The proposed design concepts incorporate priorities and themes the community identified in 2016 and are refined to meet the the $3.2M construction budget.

We've received overwhelming support from the community with great feedback for refining a design to determine a new shovel-ready engineered design for the Courthouse Park Plaza. Armed with these updated tools, we will be able to apply for RCO and other grant opportunities, as well as private funding streams. 

These are not final designs and this will not be the only community engagement opportunity for this project. 

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Project Background

The Skamania Courthouse Park Plaza project has been a community vision since 2012. In 2016, the Stevenson Downtown Association led a community design process with the "Looking to the Future" design (below) selected as the preferred design. 

The future plaza is envisioned as a vibrant community gathering place celebrating the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and the local history of Stevenson and Skamania County. 

 

The Park Plaza project is contingent upon receiving funding from a Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) State Grant, which was unsuccessful in 2018 or 2020.  Realizing a shovel-ready engineered design and a city parks plan were required for a strong RCO application, the city and county signed an interlocal agreement in 2022 allowing the City of Stevenson leased possession of the property to complete the engineered design phase of the project. This in conjunction with the city parks planning are next steps for applying for the 2024 RCO Grant, which is only available every two years. 

The Stevenson Downtown Association is a partner on this project every step of the way. Once a shovel-ready engineered design and updated construction budget are completed, the Stevenson Downtown Association will be able to resume fundraising for private investments to support the project. 

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Community Surveys

2015, 2016 & 2024

2015

2015 Community survey 1: interest

Would you frequent small community events in an expanded central plaza area? (120 responses)

  • 71% - YES (85) 

  • 28% - Sometimes, depends on event (33) 

  • 2% - No (2) 

Calculated with standard *10% margin of error:

  • 61-81% - YES 

  • 18-38% - Sometimes 

  • 0-12% - No 

*100 responses are needed for an accurate sample size of a 10K population and providing a -10%/+10% margin of error

2016

2016 Community survey 2: designs

Are you in favor of reinventing the space in front of the courthouse?

(104 responses)

  • 91% - YES (95) 

  • 9% - No (9)

Calculated with standard *10% margin of error:

  • YES - 81-100%

  • No - 0-19% 

*100 responses are needed for an accurate sample size of a 10K population and providing a -10%/+10% margin of error

2023

2023 Community survey 3: updated designs

395 responses

  • 84% (97/116) downtown stakeholders in favor of project (work, live, own downtown)

  •  66% (83/126) of residents 5+ miles from downtown in favor 

  • 83% (139/167) daily visitors in favor 

  • 74% (97/131) weekly visitors in favor of project

  • Overall, 71% are in favor of project 

Calculated with standard *5% margin of error:

  • Overall, 66-76% are in favor of project 

  • 79-89% downtown stakeholders in favor of project (work, live, own downtown)

  • 61-71% of residents 5+ miles from downtown in favor of project

  • 78-88% daily visitors in favor of project

  • 69-79% weekly visitors in favor of project

*370 responses are needed for an accurate sample size of a 10K population and providing a -5%/+5% margin of error

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