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Civic center delays – Silverton project still under $19.5M budget

By James Day

The new Silverton Civic Center will not be occupied until next spring. 

The $19.5 million project, which originally was projected to open in July 2023, has experienced a steady stream of delays, including supply chain issues, work that had to be redone and even emails that went missing. 

The project remains under that $19.5 million overall cost, the Silverton City Council was told at its Nov. 6 meeting, although change orders and other costs have increased the projected construction budget of $14.75 million by $461,000 to $15.2 million. In addition, councilors were told by the city’s project manager, Community Development Director Jason Gottgetreu that additional costs of $132,000 to project consultants Compass Project Solutions and $166,000 to architect Mackenzie also have been approved.

The Mackenzie figure, Gottgetreu said, includes invoices for $38,000 that were lost when the city migrated to a new email system.

Also leading to delays was beam work which had to be redone and a supply chain challenge when a generator took 60 weeks to arrive. 

“We’re in the home stretch,” said new city manager Cory Misley, in a telephone interview with Our Town, noting that “a variety of things, mainly odds and ends, still need to be completed.”

The two-story building is being erected on a 2.7-acre site at the north end of the former Eugene Field School property, which backs up to A Street between North Water and North First. Decisions on what will happen to the south end of the property that abuts Park Street and a northern piece adjacent to the Subway outlet, remain to be made. 

The new building will house city staff as well as the Silverton Police Department. It became necessary when the city outgrew the current City Hall, about a half mile south on Water Street. That building also has been deemed seismically unsafe.

In other items of note from the meeting:

New Playground: Mayor Jason Freilinger advised the council that there is no date available for the opening of the new all-abilities playground at Old Mill Park. Originally, it was hoped that the new facility, a joint project of the city and the Silverton Rotary Club, would be ready to open by Aug. 1 in time for the Homer Davenport Community Festival. The key stumbling block now, Freilinger said, is that the city must wait for the best moment to finish off the playground’s surface. The challenge is that because of the chemical composition of the materials the work needs a week of non-freezing temperatures and zero precipitation to be finished correctly.

Water Street Speed: Public Works director Travis Sperle announced that the speed limit on South Water Street will be reduced from 40 mph to 30 mph from about Mountain View Drive to Lane Street. Earlier discussions with the Oregon Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the road because it is a state highway, led to ODOT preferring 35 mph in the corridor, but the city expressed a strong preference for 30 because of residents’ concerns about safety. No timetable has been established for the change.

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