Eugene’s Depression-era stadium has a new chance for life. Wednesday night, the Eugene 4J School Board voted to accept the City of Eugene’s bid for Civic Stadium.
The City offered $4.5 million for the Civic Stadium properties in South Eugene, but is requiring the community to raise significant additional funds to renovate the neglected all-wood grandstand and manage the facility. 4J Board Member Jim Torrey put it bluntly. If the community funds don’t come through and the City decides to pull its offer… Torrey: “I believe that means the grandstand will go down.” But for now six of seven of the board members, including Jennifer Geller, think the City’s proposal is the surest option for 4J schools and the community. Geller: “Yes there’s a risk it won’t happen. But I think it a possibility that could make Eugene an even a better place to live.” General fatigue and a desire to refocus Board energy on education issues were apparent, with Board Member Anne Marie Levis offering her calculations. Levis: “Conservatively, my 510 is how many hours we’ve spent on Civic Stadium. We talked tonight, and another number for you is 70.4%. That’s our graduation rate. We spent 20 minutes on it. And we were dying for time. We wanted more.” Beth Gerot was the only dissenting vote. The City of Eugene now has 9 months to decide if it will go through with the purchase.