Civic Center project earns Independence award

BAKER CITY -- The city of Independence received an "Outstanding Special Project" award at the Oregon Main Street Conference "Excellence in Downtown Revitalization" celebration in B

BAKER CITY -- The city of Independence received an "Outstanding Special Project" award at the Oregon Main Street Conference "Excellence in Downtown Revitalization" celebration in Baker City on Oct. 6.

The award recognizes a one-time project or activity that positively affects the downtown revitalization effort. Independence was honored for constructing the civic center on South Main Street.

"Independence's achievement represents the creativity and hard work taking place across the state to strengthen our downtown communities," said Sheri Stuart, coordinator for Oregon Main Street.

Planning for the project started in 2007, with leaders searching for a way to replace Independence's 1960s-era city hall on Monmouth Street.

The 38,000-square-foot, $12 million civic center opened its doors to the public in March. Because of a construction budget surplus, officials turned an unused section of the building into an event center with capacity for 200 people.

The new complex anchors the southern end of downtown and will encourage new development, Stuart said.

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