City of Salem, OR

10/03/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2023 15:03

Salem Unveils State-of-the-Art Operations Building

  • The 50,000 sq. ft. 2-story building will house Public Works, Engineering, Parks and Recreation, and Administrative teams.
  • The new structure replaces a 1950s-era building used for Public Works Operations.
  • Funding for the $39 million dollar project was approved through the Capital Improvement Plan with most funds coming from the City's Utility fund.

A ribbon cutting and celebration mark the completion of the City of Salem's new state-of-the-art Operations Building as community leaders, special guests, and staff gathered in central Salem to recognize the investment in the city's future. The 50,000 square foot 2-story building will be the future home to Public Works Operations, Engineering, Parks and Recreation, and customer service and administrative staff.

The $39 million dollar project, funded largely through the Utility Fund, began construction in the winter of 2022 and was successfully completed on time and under budget in September of 2023. The building will begin a new era of collaboration between multiple city departments, consolidating four office locations into one unified, cohesive building with shared meeting and collaboration spaces. It replaces the 1950s-era building currently in use.

"The City's new operations building is a significant step forward for the city," says City Manager Keith Stahley, "It will create improved operational efficiency, build a more durable and resilient employee culture, and allow us to better respond to emergencies. Emergency preparedness and response is a critical role that public works and parks play in our community. This new building will greatly enhance our capacity to coordinate and respond to a wide variety of incidents including wildfires, flooding, ice storms, and other emergencies."

Key features of the state-of-the-art building include:

  • 65% of contracted work went to local contractors in Marion, Polk, Linn, and Benton Counties, including 12% of subcontracted work completed by certified minority or women-owned businesses.
  • Using structural and exterior lumber supplied from Oregon including mass plywood panels from Freres Engineered Wood and reclaimed and sustainable juniper siding from eastern Oregon.
  • Distinctive blue metal siding designed to interact with changing daylight.
  • Thoughtful artwork and design choices that celebrate the function and utility of the Public Works and Community Services Department.
  • Purpose-built collaborative workspaces.
  • Customer service and reception areas that meet the needs of Salem residents.
  • Reservable public space for community meetings or events.
  • Contributing solar power generation to the neighborhood with interconnection to the State of Oregon's first-of-its-kind local microgrid.

The City of Salem extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Utility ratepayers for their investments and support of the Public Works and Community Services' mission, without which this new building would not have been possible.

Over the month of October, staff will be moving into the new building with the official public opening scheduled for November of 2023.