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Community members break ground on Civic Park Sunday

A community that was devastated by the fire, now looks ahead to the future of Civic Park.

Posted: Oct 7, 2018 5:39 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2018 5:46 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- About three years after Civic Stadium burned to the ground, community members came out to Civic Park to break new ground.

"It was just heartbreaking. We could see the plume of smoke from where we live in South Eugene and we drove down here and it was just unbelievable," Eugene resident, Joshua Hamill said of the fire that destroyed Civic Stadium.

A community that was devastated by the fire, now looks ahead to the future of Civic Park.

"I drive by this every day on my way to work," Hamill said. "I teach high school over at Sheldon International High School and I've been watching this for years and seeing little bits of progress on it and I'm just thrilled to see they're finally breaking ground."

Derek Johnson, co-executive director of Eugene Civic Alliance, said Sunday’s groundbreaking is personal.

"I grew up in Eugene and I went to South Eugene High School so we used to play over here and we used to go to Emeralds games at the stadium," Johnson said. "So, I've got a lot of fond memories here like everyone who's in the crowd today."

Johnson said Civic Alliance has raised about $22 million dollars for the project, but said they're still working to raise more.

The new site will include a soccer field, community park, basketball courts and more.

"It's going to be a great addition to the city of Eugene and the Eugene Springfield area for the kids in the community and the community at large so, we're really excited to have people out here wielding their shovels and participating in a party," Johnson said.

He said this project will take a little under two years to complete.

For more information about Eugene Civic Alliance, click here.

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