HUB building ideas on display at open house

The Sweet Home Active Revitalization Effort’s Planning Committee Thursday unveiled conceptual drawings of a proposed downtown high-urban benefit (HUB) building that would potentially house the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center, meeting space, the Sweet Home Economic Development Group and the Oregon Jamboree.

The drawings were displayed during an open house Thursday afternoon so members of the public and business community could learn more about the project and provide input. A second open house is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Sweet Home Police Department community room. SHARE officials are encouraging the public to stop by and share their thoughts.

Earlier this year, SHEDG purchased a house immediately west of the chamber office on Main Street, with the idea of constructing a new building on the combined properties at 1435 Main St.

Rich Catlin, vice president of Reece and Associates, Inc., an Albany design company, was present Thursday to answer questions and explain the concept.

“We had several meetings about who would be using the building, who the occupants would be,” Catlin said. Based on that information and the size and shape of the two properties, the building will need to be two stories and 30 feet by 170 feet, for 5,100 square feet per floor.

His design is long and narrow, along the north edge of the property with parking in back. Driveways would be located at the east and west ends of the property.

“One of the things we heard is visitors a lot of times are in RVs, and they don’t have a place to stop,” Catlin said. The conceptual design includes an RV exit to the south across Sweet Home High School’s Long Street parking lot.

After receiving community input, the next step is actual architectural design, Catlin said.

“You don’t want one long wall,” Catlin said. “There are a lot of things with design you can do to break it up.”

Moving forward, an architect will figure out who needs to be where inside the building and develop construction plans based on that information, he said.

“After public meetings, Rich is going to incorporate thoughts and opinions as best we’re able to,” said Mike Adams, chairman of the SHARE Planning Committee. He’ll bring in a final three-dimensional conceptual design and present it to the SHARE Steering Committee, SHEDG and the Chamber Board.

If the groups want to move forward, they’ll start on surveys, construction plans and more accurate cost estimates, Adams said.

Funding has not been identified yet, Adams said. If the groups choose to move forward with the project, then those three groups, the Chamber, SHEDG and the Jamboree will need to work together to see if they can actually fund it.

The project is currently funded by SHARE with funds originating from SHEDG, Adams said, and he is asking for funds to be budgeted next year to develop architectural designs.