New Center Sets Standard

Article excerpt

Byline: The Register-Guard

When the Wayne Lyman Morse U.S. Courthouse opened in 2006, it set a new architectural standard for new federal courthouses across the nation. On a smaller scale, the new Armed Forces Reserve Center in Springfield should do the same as the federal and state governments replace aging, inefficient armories and government office buildings in other communities.

Located near Marcola Road, the $39 million, 170,000-square-foot complex will bring together Oregon Army National Guard units from Eugene and Cottage Grove, and Marine Corps and Naval Reserve units from west Eugene. It also will house the local offices of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which now operate in separate Eugene locations.

By bringing this diverse group of tenants into a single building, the U.S. General Services Administration will save taxpayers money through reduced operations and maintenance costs. Granted, the estimated $15.5 million in savings won't make much of a dent in the $700 billion finance industry bailout. But, hey, ya' gotta start somewhere, right?

But the new armory is more than a bargain. It's also cool. As The Register-Guard's Shelby Martin reported in a Monday story, it has exercise facilities, a firing range, work bays and classrooms - even a virtual reality arena where soldiers rehearse combat scenarios. That's not to mention space that will be available to rent for events such as weddings, anniversaries and high-school proms.

Unlike the armories of decades past, the new building is a model of energy efficiency and boasts the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. …