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Preserve Civic Stadium, says local school board superintendent

Civic Stadium, Eugene

Civic Stadium would be saved — for now — under a recommendation from Eugene School District Superintendent Sheldon Berman to sell the historic ballpark to the city, instead of an entity seeking to tear down the facility.

Berman’s logic is simple: the city is offering the most money up front for the 10-acre lot owned by the school district, which includes the 6,800 seat fomer home to Pacific Coast League and Northwest League baseball. The city is offering $4.5 million for the property, but there’s one big condition: preservationists need to raise $3 million to renovate the wooden grandstand, which has been unmaintained since the Eugene Emeralds moved to PK Park. There are two other bids for the ballpark property: a private developer would raze the ballpark to make way for another Fred Meyer store (the total offer: $5.25 million), while the local YMCA would tear it down to make way for a new facility (the bid: $4.5 million, but the school district would pay to tear down the ballpark).

However, both proposals that would tear down the ballpark have other issues: both require zoning changes, and both would require demolition permits — and it could take years to accomplish both steps. Financially, all three bids are relatively close in terms of what the school district would pocket, but the city money would flow into school coffers sooner. The school board would not see any money until there’s a clear path to demolition, and the school board is looking at an upcoming budget deficit that could be plugged with the city money.

The school board is set to hear Berman’s recommendation tomorrow and could act on it — or take another course — at a Feb. 19 meeting.

Image from Save Civic Stadium page.

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