Quake Protection Eyed for New Eugene City Hall

A proposed City Hall in Eugene is expected to cost more than previously thought because of a design change intended to help the building withstand a major earthquake.

📅   Fri August 05, 2016 - West Edition #16


A proposed City Hall in Eugene is expected to cost more than previously thought because of a design change intended to help the building withstand a major earthquake.
A proposed City Hall in Eugene is expected to cost more than previously thought because of a design change intended to help the building withstand a major earthquake.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) A proposed City Hall in Eugene is expected to cost more than previously thought because of a design change intended to help the building withstand a major earthquake.

City officials have yet to reveal a new price tag for the four-story building — previously authorized by the City Council to cost no more than $17.85 million. City staff is scheduled to present the council with a revised cost estimate.

“City Hall is becoming safer, greener, more welcoming and a better long-term investment for the community as a result of this extra time and work,” city spokeswoman Jan Bohman told The Register-Guard.

The updated design has also pushed the start of construction to late summer or early fall, about nine months later than previously estimated.

Elected officials said they support the seismic upgrade if the cost increase is reasonable.

The move makes sense, they said, given the renewed public interest in the area's vulnerability to a major earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a major fault off the Oregon Coast.

Councilor Greg Evans said a major cost increase would give him pause.

If “it's reasonable in terms of how much it's going to be, and we have an identified source in that budget to pull that money from, then that's another story,” Evans said.

The new building, described by city officials and its architects as Eugene's “civic heart,” will be built on the southwest portion of a block that held the former City Hall until it was razed a year ago.

The former City Hall opened in 1964 before current seismic design standards were adopted in Oregon. An analysis of the building found a significant probability of extensive damage or possible collapse in a major earthquake.

For more information, visit http://www.registerguard.com.