School district weighs YMCA idea for Roosevelt Middle School land

EUGENE, Ore. - The

Eugene 4J School District

didn't pick the

Eugene YMCA

's proposal for

Eugene Civic Stadium

, but the two organizations have agreed to take a look at another opportunity to work together.

The proposal: After the school district builds a new Roosevelt Middle School and demolishes the existing building, build a new Y where the current school building stands.

The Eugene 4J board Wednesday gave the green light to study a plan that would allow the YMCA to buy or lease a 6-acre parcel on the school grounds.

"There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm from both the school board and the school district staff to try to make this thing happen," said

Dave Perez

, the YMCA's executive director.

For the Y, Perez said Roosevelt is a superior site to the Civic Stadium grounds.

"To be right on the same site as the middle school, and be able to match our programs and services to support schools, makes it all worthwhile," he said.

If things go according to the early plans, the new middle school will be built in the open sports fields on the west side of the property.

The new YMCA would rise where the middle school now sits.

Barb Bellamy with Eugene 4J said it's not a done deal yet. The board still wants to get public comments on the idea.

"There might be an opportunity there really to build on the recreation facilities that are there by making space at Roosevelt for the Y," she said.

A public hearing is set for May 7 before the 4J board, with a final decision expected by May 21.

Officials with the Y hope they can break ground on the $15 million project when the old Roosevelt school is torn down in the summer of 2016.