It’s a go: City to purchase Eugene Field site

November 2017 Posted in Community, School

efield-1 (2)By James Day

The city of Silverton plans to purchase the Eugene Field School site to develop a new civic center that will include a police station, City Hall and new council chambers.

The City Council voted 7-0 at a special meeting Oct. 23 to go forward with the purchase agreement with the Silver Falls School District, City Manager Christy Wurster told Our Town.

“The City Council directed staff to proceed with issuance of a suitability notice indicating the city’s intent to proceed with acquisition of the property,” Wurster said. “The City Council also authorized staff to proceed with the purchase of the property if all conditions precedent to closing in the purchase and sale agreement are met.”

The purchase price is $1 million, with the funds coming from the Civic Building Project Fund in the 2017-18 fiscal year budget. The school building on the 3.46-acre site would be demolished because of environmental issues, including lead paint, asbestos and a heating oil tank.

Design work remains to be done, as well as a public outreach campaign, Wurster said.

“There has been a tremendous amount of public support for the purchase,” Wurster said, adding that one of the positives of the Eugene Field site is keeping the municipal operations in the downtown core. Sites considered earlier by the city would have located the complex outside of the core.

Also to be determined is whether the project will be constructed in phases or all at once. Wurster noted that the council goal for the project is to have a new police station within five years and a new City Hall within 10.

“Once the ultimate needs are identified and cost estimates are developed,” Wurster said, “the City Council will decide the timeline for construction and whether to phase the project by building the police station first or whether there is benefit in constructing the entire civic center as one construction project.”

Wurster added that those cost estimates must be established before the city can determine how to finance the project.

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