Oregon Research Institute: The Fight Continues

Opponents of ORI’s proposed $17 million, 80,000-square-foot building are still trying to stop its construction.

I’m the first to admit that I sometimes miss the point—and this might be one of those times.  However, it seems like having an internationally recognized institution with nice facilities would bring Eugene the kind of jobs that everyone likes—no pollution and minimal impact.

The banks of the Willamette: Contentious real estate.

Redevelopment in Eugene’s Downtown

Work has now started that will fill one of Eugene’s notorious downtown holes.  Lane Community College has begun construction on a new downtown facility—costing $53 million before completion late next year.

Hopefully this will be but a start towards a more vibrant downtown.  We’re not likely to get back to what we once were—in times gone by when downtown was a hub of all activities, from shopping and entertainment to business. 

Still, LCC’s project is a good start.

Looking into big holes, the Craigs enjoy one of their hobbies.

Earthquakes

The destruction from the recent earthquake in Japan and in Christchurch, New Zealand is a reminder of how vulnerable we all can be.  All construction and engineering is a balance between risk management and economics.  It’s possible to build a structure that will essentially never fall down.  However, that would be very expensive—and affording the building is the real key.
So how safe are structures in Eugene and Springfield?  At least one company thought they weren’t safe enough—Symantec is spending millions of dollars to upgrade its Springfield facilities.

The possibility of an earthquake in Lane County is there—we live in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which is known to be seismically active.  So what can you do?  Local building codes have continued to become more stringent and therefore more earthquake resistant so new structures will fare better if an earthquake does happen.  Plus, earthquake insurance is available.

What do most of us do?  Ignore the risk.

 

Will building codes keep earthquake aftermath in Lane County from looking like this?