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State & City Officials: Demolition Of Hayward Field's East Grandstand Not Unlawful

Brian Bull

The demolition of Hayward Field’s East Grandstand in Eugene may not be violating state law, contrary to some activists’ claims. KLCC’s Brian Bull has more.

The 93-year-old structure is slated to be razed June 19th.  Crews began removing the bench seats from the facility Monday.

Members of East Grandstand Supporters say the University of Oregon has failed to comply with Oregon Statute 358-653, which protects publicly-owned historic properties.

Credit CollegeOvals.com

But an administrator with the State Historic Preservation Office disagrees.

“Are they in compliance? From our process, they are, they’re doing it.”

Ian Johnson is Associate Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. He says arguments from anti-demolition critics elevate the situation in ways that aren’t applicable to his office.

“It confuses the state level process with what might be required locally," says Johnson.  "The state law does not have any administrative rules, it does not have any penalties, and it’s procedural rather than substantive.

"It’s the locals who are going to be able to say what is or is not required for demolition, not our office.”

A planning and development official tells KLCC the City of Eugene approved a demolition permit June 1st, and it complies with city codes and regulations. 

And in an emailed statement, a U of O spokesman says "The university is in full compliance with the law and with a city-issued demolition permit. The university has diligently consulted with (State Historic Preservation Office) in conversations that continue to this day. SHPO was informed of the planned salvage operations that commenced today, and has been apprised of the extensive efforts undertaken to preserve and honor the history associated with Hayward Field."

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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