EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Big changes are coming to Eugene City Hall this summer, but a permanent future for the building remains up in the air. By July 2012, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy says the current City Hall will be empty.
Today, only two major departments of Eugene's city government remain at City Hall: the City Manager, Councilors and Mayor's offices and the Eugene Police Department. The Eugene Police Department is planning to move to its new headquarters on Country Club Road in July.
Meanwhile, the City Manager, Council and Mayor's offices are also planning a July 2012 move, heading across the street to office space in the Lane County Public Services building.
Once those moves are complete, Eugene City Hall - located between 7th and 8th Avenues and Pearl and High Streets in downtown Eugene - will be empty.
Councilors are set to discuss the future and possible permanent location of City Hall in the coming weeks. Originally, there was talk of a major renovation of the current City Hall property; however, it's unclear what that would entail. Today's Eugene City Hall is seismically unsound and an energy sieve, according to Mayor Piercy.
A recent move EWEB made to buy new office space on Roosevelt Boulevard may also be a wildcard for Eugene City Hall. Some have wondered if the City would be interested in the current EWEB Ferry Street Bridge property as a future City Hall.
At this point, all of the talk is simply part of the idea process. Nothing is set in stone, according to Piercy.
“We'll be looking at private-public partnerships and things of that sort, too, to try to make sure we live within our means,” said Piercy. “We're not going to leave this building without a plan for how we're going forward, and we have no intention of abandoning this building and having it sit here and be another hole, so to speak.”
Piercy explained the city has been working on a budget for a future City Hall. However, there is no timeline though on a future permanent home.
As far as the artwork scattered throughout the current City Hall, Piercy says all of that will be preserved, including the multi-colored mural in the Council Chambers rotunda.
Once the building is cleared out, Eugene City Council will start holding council meetings in a different location as well. The Council will begin meeting in Harris Hall at the Lane County Public Services building, which is where Lane County's Board of Commissioners currently holds its meetings.