One of the renderings of the proposed new youth center presented to the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 7. The center’s groundbreaking is scheduled for June 28.

The new building for the Oregon Youth Center is one step closer to reality, as the Planning Commission recommended approval for plans for the project at its meeting on Thursday, just weeks before the site’s anticipated groundbreaking June 28.

The commission unanimously recommended the Village Board approve the three plans that came before it, dealing with the building’s design and zoning and contingent on approval of plans for specific items like building materials and bicycle parking.

The materials and color of the building’s siding and colors for the front facade, which is a checkerboard of many different-colored squares under an overhanging roof, are expected to be finalized during a design review at the commission’s July 12 meeting.

Bryan Mann represented the building designer OPN Architects and said the building was “fun and challenging” to design and the firm “did not take the monochromatic approach.”

Commissioners also asked the designer to plan for garbage removal, consider adding gutters and downspouts and submit plans for a sign.

The commission recommended zoning “flexibility” to reduce what would have been a required 23 parking spots to 14. The center will share 56 parking spots with nearby buildings, including the police department.

Village planner Mike Slavney said fewer spots shouldn’t be a problem, as most patrons wouldn’t be driving to the center during normal business hours.

The architects haven’t submitted a plan for a sign, and Mann said there probably wouldn’t be room in the budget for a large monument.

Still, commissioner Scott Meier said he’d “like to see it identified.”

“It’s a really cool-looking building,” Meier said. “I’d like for people from out of town to drive by it and see it and know what it is and that we support our youth.”

Oregon Community Resource Network chair Randy Glysch asked the commission whether the contingencies would necessitate delaying the planned groundbreaking, but he was assured they would not.

Glysch, whose organization helped organize the fundraising for the project, told the commission “it’s in good shape.”

“We started this in late December (with an $800,000 pledge)… as of today we have $950,000 in the bank,” Glysch said. “We (have) what we need to build a good building, we have the lease. … In a relatively short time, we’ve done a pretty good job here.”

The commission’s recommendations on the General Development Plan, Specific Implementation Plan/Site plan and Certified Survey Map followed the public hearing, during which Mann presented the building plans.

The Village Board will take up the commission’s recommendations at its June 18 meeting, and the project will once again come before the Planning Commission at its next meeting, July 12, to discuss its detailed site plan.

Contact Alexander Cramer at alexander.cramer@wcinet.com.