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Nathan Buehler
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Email; 503-689-3559

April 26, 2018 Media Contact
Nathan Buehler 503-689-3559

Schools and Emergency Services Buildings will be Safer with New Seismic Funding from Business Oregon

Schools and emergency services buildings across the state will soon be safer for their occupants due to the latest round of seismic rehabilitation grants from Business Oregon. Twelve schools and eight emergency service organizations will receive $35 million in grants to shore up their structures in preparation for impending earthquakes.

"Building a more resilient Oregon is a top priority, and we must continue our critical, ongoing efforts to bolster our schools and key emergency and community centers throughout the state," Governor Kate Brown said. "By working together to leverage local, state, and federal resources, we can create safer communities that will be better prepared and ready to recover more quickly from a major disaster or catastrophic Cascadia earthquake."

The Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program is a state of Oregon competitive grant program that provides funding for the seismic rehabilitation of critical public buildings, particularly public schools and emergency services facilities. It is one of the infrastructure programs Business Oregon administers to help develop livable and prosperous communities in addition to business development services and programs.

"This program is an investment in healthy and safe communities," said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. "With today's awards we've now been able to shore up 190 schools across the state, and make 95 emergency services structures more prepared to take on the necessary response to a seismic disaster."

This is the fourth round of funding Business Oregon has awarded under the program. One recipient in a previous round was the Yoncalla School district in Douglas County.

"The seismic retrofit has fundamentally changed the future of the Yoncalla School District," said Brian Berry, superintendent of the district. "Being a small rural district, we have had issues trying to pass a bond for several steadily decaying buildings. The retrofit has allowed us to address many of the underlying issues that have been a source of anxiety, and it has brought back that sense of pride in the school. Without the seismic retrofit this district would be in jeopardy of closing. However because of this opportunity we are seeing a sense of community restored and an infectious attitude among the students, knowing we can focus on education and not be consumed with thinking about building safety issues all day."

Public K-12 school districts, community colleges, and education service districts are eligible for the grant program. For emergency services facilities, the emphasis is on first responder buildings. This includes hospital buildings with acute inpatient care facilities, fire stations, police stations, sheriff's offices, 9?1?1 centers, and Emergency Operations Centers. Proposals are reviewed by a review committee.

The program was created by the Oregon Legislature in 2005, and transferred to Business Oregon in 2014.

The current round of projects awarded include:

School Projects ($25,000,000)

Beaverton School District Aloha High School $2,500,000
Blachly School District Triangle Lake Charter School $1,898,510
Camas Valley School District Camas Valley School Classrooms $1,752,965
Central Point School District Sams Valley Elementary School Gym $2,498,395
Corvallis School District Muddy Creek Charter School $903,941
Harrisburg School District HS Gym & Multi-purpose Room $2,499,530
Hood River School District Mid-Valley Elementary $2,038,921
Monroe School District Monroe High School $2,500,000
Portland Public Schools Hayhurst School $2,500,000
Scio School District Scio High School Gym $2,494,575
Sherwood School District Sherwood Middle School Gym $1,044,718
Tillamook School District East Elementary School Gym $2,368,445

Emergency Services Projects ($10,000,000)

Adair Fire District Adair Main Station $1,717,978
Jackson County Fire Dist. Shady Cove Station $166,556
Klamath County Fire Dist. Fire Station #1 $2,349,360
Sheridan Fire District Sheridan Fire Station $1,310,470
Tangent Fire District Fire Station #71 $1,163,245
Westside Fire District Fire Station #1 $1,251,595
Westside Fire District Fire Station #12 $1,225,109
City of Newberg Public Safety Building $815,687

More information on project requirements, eligibility, and the program application are available on Business Oregon's website.

Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations.