News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Scio City Hall renovations advancing

The City of Scio is moving forward with renovations to City Hall, with public meetings expected in late April or early May to discuss a potential project timeline and other details.

During an update to the City Council on March 25, design architect Scott Beck shared his concept for the upgrades.

The goal is to work within the existing footprint of the current City Hall in order to minimize costs, as well as maximize use of the existing spaces.

The exterior of the building will also be changed from its current plain facade to a design that will “complement Scio’s downtown area,” said City Manager Ginger Allen in a memo to the council.

Allen told The Canyon Weekly she is working with Beck to finalize conceptual drawings, which will be displayed at City Hall and on the city’s website for residents to review and offer feedback. The drawings will also be displayed at the Linn County Lamb & Wool Fair in May.

Allen said project costs are still being worked out as the city must first complete engineering plans. In addition to staying within the building’s footprint, Allen said costs are expected to be kept down using a simplistic design proposed by Beck.

A project timeline is also being prepared, and Allen said she expects this and other details to be shared with the council and the public during a meeting at the end of April or early May.

Allen said Beck’s presentation was “well received” by officials. Mayor Debbie Number told The Canyon Weekly that progress toward renovations was “very exciting for Scio.”

Officials have been pursuing upgrades to City Hall since 2018 when an insurance inspection revealed the need for upgrades, and a seismic inspection showed the building was deteriorating. The City Hall was built in 1966.

The original plan was to construct a new City Hall, and in early 2020 the council voted to pursue $3 million in funding for the project. However, the beginning of construction industry upheavals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as destructive local wildfires, delayed the project.

When Scio was again in a position to pursue the building, construction costs had more than doubled. Last year the council voted to pursue renovations instead of new construction due to these financial constraints.

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