The Eugene School Board has classified the Dunn School property (3411 Willamette St) as surplus since 2002 and the 2013 Long-Range Facilities plan projects that the site is not needed for future use. A proposal to dispose of the property is now under consideration. The board invited neighbors to a community meeting on Thursday December 14 to provide some information about the board’s process for disposing of surplus property and also to gather input about the proposal. Barb Bellamy and Jon Lauch from the Eugene School district were on hand to present the information.
We learned that the property covers about 4.5 acres and that the building dates from 1932 although there have been several additions since then. The property is zoned PL (public land) which limits the possible uses that would be approved to public and quasi-public types of development such as schools, churches, museums etc. The district would not likely initiate rezoning , expecting the new property owner to work with the city if rezoning is required.
The district is currently leasing space in the building to New Direction Service, a non-profit that helps families who have children with disabilities by serving as a one-stop source for information and assistance. Also the Eugene Folklore Society rents the former gym for their bi-monthly contra dance events.
Neighbors at the meeting expressed some concerns and had several questions about the possible re-purposing of the property. Everyone who commented during the meeting agreed that the site should continue to be devoted to public uses as a community educational or cultural resource. Barb Bellamy and Jon Lauch explained that if the district decided to move forward, a sale, trade, or long term lease agreement might be considered but any offer would need to relieve the district of management and maintenance responsibility for the entire property. They declined to provide any estimate of the property value.
More information about the proposal is available on the School District web site here.
Will advocates for preserving this historic community resource be able to move quickly enough to organize and find a way forward ?
The school board will consider the proposal at the following meetings:
Wednesday 12/17/2014 The board will receive proposed findings of fact, stating why the district no longer needs the property, zoning and any land use restrictions on the property and community input received to date.
Wednesday 1/7/2015 Public Hearing
Wednesday 1/21/2015 The board will decide whether to approve the final findings of fact and dispose of the Dunn property.
All meetings begin at 7pm at the 4J Education Center 200 N. Monroe St in Eugene.
The district welcomes public input. Questions can be directed to the 4J Communications Office at 541-790-7737.
Comments may be sent to the School Board
Mail: Eugene School Board 200 N.Monroe St., Eugene OR 97402