EUGENE, Ore. — Now that the 4J School Board has accepted the city of Eugene’s bid to purchase Civic Stadium, there is still a ways to go before the property officially switches hands.
The 4J School District says no money has been exchanged and still no plan for the stadium is guaranteed.
The city council will now start working with the school board to negotiate a purchasing contract.
In the meantime, the city has six months to come up with $3 million, in addition to the $4.5 million it has offered as the purchase price. If that money isn’t raised, then 4J will be back at square one, but supporters of the city’s bid say they aren’t worried.
“We supporters, advocates of renovating the stadium, we realize it won’t be easy, but nothing’s been easy so far, and we are confident that the money is there and will be fourth coming,” said George Brown, City Councilor (Ward 1).
Of the $3 million, $2.1 million will go toward renovating the stadium, and the other $900,000 will go toward a new recreational field. Brown says the council will immediately start writing grants and will likely start taking requests for proposals in the near future.
If the agreement goes according to plan and 4J does end up with the $4.5 million the city has offered, the district says that money will go into its capital improvements fund, but ultimately the board has the ability to decide how that money is used.
School Board Member Beth Gerot cast the single vote against the city’s bid to buy the stadium. She put out a statement that says she respects the board’s decision. She says, “while I understand the passion that some members of our community have for restoring the stadium, I had serious questions in the proposal that was before us, about that possibility coming to fruition or it being the best possible use of the site.”
She also says, “The decision, supported by the majority of board members last night, allows us to refocus our attention on the education of our students rather than on real estate.”