Darrington will be home to a new Wood Innovation Center

Seven year anniversary of Oso mudslide

The Town of Darrington will receive support from the Economic Development Administration to help establish its new Wood Innovation Center.

“This $6 million federal grant is an important investment in the economies of Darrington and Snohomish County after the devastation of the Oso landslide seven years ago,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, who has long supported development of sustainable timber products and worked directly with the EDA and Darrington to secure the funding.

The center will support business development, research and education to produce mass timber products, including cross laminated timeber (CLT) and modular housing. Cross laminated timber can be used to make large, prefabricated wood panels that are lightweight and are comparable to concrete and steel as far as strength and durability. The center itself will be built entirely out of CLT to showcase the product's capabilities. 

Conservation non-profit Forterra has partnered with Darrington and Snohomish County on the project. The organization has been spearheading local efforts to grow the cross laminated timber industry in Washington, including efforts to update building codes to allow these advanced materials. View a presentation on the topic from a past Economic Development District Board meeting. Support for future cross laminated timber production was included in Amazing Place, the Regional Economic Strategy.

“The Darrington Wood Innovation Center will create new, innovative jobs that embody the spirit of our community. By bringing mass timber and CLT production to Darrington, the new Center will continue to make possible a livelihood that allows folks to live, work and play in this incredible place we call home,” said Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin in a Forterra press release.

Darrington, Arlington and surrounding Snohomish County communities have come together to recover from the shock of a mudslide that engulfed a rural neighborhood, killing 43 people and covering 49 homes on March 22, 2014.

Support for the Darrington Wood Innovation Center has been widespread. Earlier this year, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources transferred 3.74 acres of land to Darrington to help make the center a reality.