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University given power of eminent domain

The Board of Higher Education “approved adoption of the resolution of necessity” today so that the University is guaranteed to acquire the remaining land needed to build the new basketball arena. The resolution passed 7-2, with two nay votes from the student representatives, Hannah Fisher and Adriana Mendoza, and one abstention. Vice President of Nike, Inc. Donald Blair did not take part in the vote.

Di Saunders, spokeswomen for the board, said that of the three remaining properties, the dentist office of Karl Wagenknecht is the only one that does not wish to sell. Phil Weiler, Senior Director of Public & Media Relations at the UO, however, said the University is confident it will come to an agreement with all three parties.

“(Today’s resolution) does give us the power of eminent domain, but it is not a power we expect to have to exercise at any time,” Weiler told the Commentator. “People are overplaying this step.”

  1. Blaser says:

    Meghann: excuse my zeal. I have studied campus buildings for years, which is why I knew that Das Frohn was talking out his ass about Mac being too old and decrepit for any future use. My specialty is actually studying how preserving historic architecture is important to the sustainability movement, as I have been studying situations similar to the Mac fiasco happening in China leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games. So needless to say, when people like Ossie see building use as black or white, I get a little excited.

    As far as comparisons go, I would like to think that I have a little more authority on the subject of preservation than Mr. Vishanoff, but more importantly I actually rock the cowboy hat, where as Zach just wears one.

    And one more point: I was not referring to the design of the arena when I made my comment about recent campus buildings being sub-par. I was countering Ossie’s point that a new academic building in the place of Mac would be guaranteed to be state of the art by listing the University’s dismal track record in constructing new academic buildings. When it comes to athletic facilities on the other hand, so much money goes into the project that I am sure the new arena will be state of the art and will serve its purpose well. No one likes to screw up when that much cash and prestige is on the line. Maybe you should have read those “crazy” details, eh?

  2. Wubba Wubba says:

    Blaser has a point, albeit a changing point.

    The Housing plan that has been put forth has Bean being gutted and renovated. A 2-year plan (hence the reason the LLC was opened for this year) for it’s renovation means…the building becomes new again.

    Also, Carson is slated for a total remodel, due to certain areas being…freed up.

    However, the idea that Mac Court needs to be torn down is a stupid idea. Mac Court is in fine shape currently. The ones that need to be torn down are the ones that, while they may have age on them, are structurally unsound: Onyx Bridge (biohazard/structural deficiency), Susan Campbell Hall (mold, flooding, etc), and Agate Hall (flooding, deteriorating structure.)

  3. Oh My God It's Full Of Stars says:

    Oh yes an Adams reference. That reminds me, government spending is good because than we all can consume more because taxes have increased and the LM curve shifts fuckwords. I blindly follow Keyns and Freedman; thus, I am confused. Only drink the shit that says 100% agave.

  4. Timothy says:

    Dan: Nah, I fly.

    Seriously, though, I get your point, but I always end up thinking of Arthur Dent, lying there in the mud, trying to stop a bulldozer from knocking down his perfectly nice house.

  5. Danimal says:

    Drive on roads much, Tim?

  6. Meghann says:

    Blaser, you are sounding more like Zach Vishanoff everyday. Keep in mind the guys designing the new arena had nothing to do with the buildings you mentioned. I’m not against your overall argument, but you’re getting a little out there with your details.

  7. Timothy says:

    Dan: Not quite every one, but the vast majority. Pretty much unless the property owner hasn’t been heard from in several decades and the space is presently unoccupied. Although, I’m willing to go all the way to “always, full stop” if it stops abuse by government. I’d rather large organizations like UO have to go through a headache to build the things they want to build than be able to put a gun to the head of anybody in their way.

    And, frankly, I don’t think you’d have to tear down MacCourt to convert it into an academic building. You could pretty easily remodel the inside into at least some kind of academic pursuit, as there’s a lot of space in there, while leaving the rest of the building intact.

  8. Blaser says:

    Ossie: just because a building is new, does not mean it will be state of the art. In fact, the U of O has a pretty bad record when it comes to building new facilities, as some of the most hated buildings on campus have traditionally been recent additions. While Lillis kind of kicks this trend in a way with its good looks and sustainability measures, many students gripe about the functionality of the building, as stairways provide bad circulation, and there is a lack of comfortable places for students to work together on projects.

    And look at other “new” buildings on campus. Take Onyx Bridge, Bean and Hamilton complexes, and other science buildings as well. With the exception of Willamette Hall, all of these buildings are not only hideous, but barely function anymore, as Onyx Bridge is structurally unsound, and the dorms in Bean and Hamilton are the size of my storage closet.

    But hey, why don’t we tear down some of the oldest buildings on this campus because we have “no room to grow”? Hell, let’s tear down Deady next. Who cares if this National Landmark is so iconic that its image is on graduation announcements and the diploma cover itself? And if you think it is serving the same purpose it was built to serve, it used to be the gymnasium and the astronomy lab, and has since been used for every purpose under the sun since it was built in the late 19th century.

    We can be way more creative than “it’s old, so let’s tear it down”. I for one would like to see a mixed use of sports museum/ student space, as us who have worked in the EMU know how cramped it is. How cool would it be to have the OC office in the Pit?

  9. Niedermeyer says:

    The line I’m looking for here is “You’re not wrong Frohnmayer, you’re just an asshole.”

    Of course putting a new academic building up at the Mac Court site would be “good for academics,” nobody is disputing that… the point I was making is that when (if ever) eminent domain is justified, it is for some painful concession to a collective good/necessity. Frohnmayer wants people to think that the University’s academic mission is the collective good in question here, when it quite simply isn’t.

  10. Ossie says:

    Ted, don’t you think that it is more academic to replace an old on-campus athletic facility with a state-of-the-art academic facility? Would you rather the University built a new academic building on Franklin Boulevard on the wrong side of Bean and Hamilton dorms? Or they could build it on the lawn south of the library, or perhaps it could condemn the cemetery and put classrooms there. There is not a lot of room for the University to grow, which is why it should attempt to keep its academic buildings at the center of campus. Isn

  11. Danimal says:

    Tim, do you actually oppose eminent domain in any and every situation?

  12. jameswillisisthebest says:

    This is my first post
    just saying HI

  13. niedermeyer says:

    This is an ugly, ugly face to be putting on your legacy, President Frohnmayer. How does a man with so much experience in the highest levels of the legal system and politics feel so insecure about his tenure as president of a public university that he A) makes a basketball arena the jewel in his crown and B) does so in such a heavy-handed, repugnant manner?

    Frohnmayer clearly understands the difficulty in meeting the spirit of eminent domain law while using it to build a sports arena, otherwise he wouldn’t be publicly making ridiculous statements like this one in the Reggie:

    “Frohnmayer said it furthers the U of O’s academic interest because it will allow the U of O to tear down McArthur Court and use the site for an academic building.”

    In other words, we must build an arena in order to destroy the arena in order to better fulfill our academic mission. Now I understand why they have to use eminent domain…

  14. Timothy says:

    That’s an easy call for me at least, the one who worked hard. I don’t really care about the motivation behind a wrong action, only the relevant wrongness. There’s a lot of land in Eugene, there’s a lot of space the University could buy for a new basketball arena, and I think the forcible theft of a man’s hard-earned property is so repugnant as to outweigh any potential benefit to the U. It’s simply unacceptable to use eminent domain for anything, at all, because if the government is allowed to simply reclaim your property at their whim, can you really be said to own it?

  15. Ossie says:

    Actually, let me tell you how I feel.

    This is a deliberate taking of land. I am troubled, however, in balancing the good and the bad in this issue. For many years to come, I will stick it to

  16. Timothy says:

    Government abusing power it shouldn’t even have in the first place is one of the things that makes me very, very angry. Of course, that’s a set that might be easier to define exclusively.

  17. Ossie says:

    Timothy, tell us how you really feel.

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