Eugene police station move planned for 2012

EUGENE, Ore - Eugene police are moving out of downtown Eugene. The city agreed to buy a building at 300 Country Club Road which will be used for the new police headquarters.

The building is 66,000 square feet, about double the size of the exisiting downtown location.

The City purchased the building for $10.2 million. Another $5.8 million will be used for renovations.

"The city and its forsight over the last many of years has been putting money away in our facility reserves, so we're able to pay cash for this," said City Manager Jon Ruiz. "So this isn't going to cost any additional tax dollars coming from the tax payers. So that's a good deal."

The building will also have some additional work to make sure it is earthquake friendly. "There is some seismic work to do," said Ruiz. "But it's not a cost burden to bring it up to the life safety standard that we need for our police officers and for their ability to respond."

Officials fear the current building would not withstand a major quake. An Oregon Department of Geology review predicts the building would collapse in the event of a severe earthquake.

"The police department really serves one purpose and that is to provide the best policing services we possibly can to our community," said Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns. "This building allows us to do that more efficiently, more safely, and more effectively."

Chief Kerns said the larger amount of space will allow them to consolidate some work units that are now in other leased spaces. He said the close access to the freeway is a plus. Even though police will be leaving the downtown headquarters, the department will still have a presence there.

"There should be no effect on our deployment," he said. "We will establish a sub-station downtown for our bicycle and safety team that we have."

The final purchase is expected to be complete by July 1, 2010. Police are expected to move to the new building in 2012.

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