INDEPENDENCE, Oregon — Jonathan Cordisco is a senior at Oregon State University (OSU) and is studying mechanical engineering.
While tackling his senior thesis, Cordisco is one of the masterminds behind developing the first ever public watercraft storage unit along the Willamette River at the southeast end of Riverview Park located in the city of Independence.
It’s called the Beaver Boat Locker.
The prototype has one fixed end and one moveable end, so people can place their kayak, stand up paddleboard and canoe in-between.
This specific design allows the unit to be adjusted to fit watercraft of all shapes and sizes —and that's what sets the Beaver Boat Locker apart from other units.
“The city of Independence really made sense to have the first prototype location,” said Shawn Irvine, Economic Development Director for the city. “And we liked the idea enough that we wanted to invest in this prototype [to] put it here. Be the first place [to have it] so that people could really kind of see that connection that we have to the Willamette River."
Irvine hopes the storage unit will attract more people into the local businesses along the Willamette River while allowing them to safely secure their water gear at no cost.
The Beaver Boat Locker was created in partnership with the Oregon State Marine Board, Travel Oregon, Willamette Riverkeeper and multiple parks and recreation agencies
"I'm incredibly proud of what he has accomplished here," said John Parmigiani, Prototype Developer Lab Director at OSU, Cordisco's professor.
Parmigiani said this worked exactly how he hoped it would—By finding a real-world project, and letting students take ownership.
“They are not working for me on a project,” he said. “I'm guiding them on their project. They take the ownership. And he really stepped up and did that."
After a few rescheduled installation dates because of the excessive rainfall the Willamette Valley has seen throughout the past few months, the big day finally came. The Beaver Boat Locker was installed this past Thursday on July 21.
"I mean I've spent a lot of time just looking at the computer,” said Cordisco. “Kind of just designing this thing. So, it's nice to see it actually in the flesh— in person."
A soft opening is scheduled for Monday, July 25 at 3:30 P.M.