Clinic rebuild takes a U-turn

McKenzie Valley Wellness to seek new architect


November 24, 2022 | View PDF

RAINBOW: Unresolved issues affecting design and siting decisions have been points of discussion during recent meetings of the non-profit McKenzie Valley Wellness (MVW) board of directors. At a meeting on November 15th, the board voted 3 to 1 to terminate their agreement with Pivot Architecture of Eugene. Voting to leave Pivot were Steve Severin, Jane Wilson, and Robin Roberts. Opposed was Val Rapp. Galen Phipps was out of town.

“We made that decision after considerable discussion and consultation with industry experts before the board meeting as well as a discussion during the meeting.,” according to MVW president Val Rapp. “We made this decision as a board and we believe it’s in the best interest of our project and our community. We believe it’s our best way to control costs and use as many local contractors as possible.”

Some of the issues discussed at an October board meeting were concerns about drawings submitted by Pivot that included wrong measurements for property line setbacks, discrepancies between exterior and interior renderings, and the placement of overhangs - as well as what was described as an overall appearance that would “make the clinic look like all the others on Willamette Street (in Eugene).”

Lack of information regarding septic and electrical issues was a concern as well. Until information is confirmed, the placement of lines for the proposed Blue River Sanitary District could impact the location of the building on the MVW property. Missing as well as information on whether Lane Electric will feed the site with overhead or underground lines.

“We appreciate the work that Pivot has done toward designing the new health clinic in Blue River,” Rapp says. “However, we are very concerned about the cost estimates and budget proposals associated with Pivot’s design.”

She said McKenzie Wellness is also alarmed about the building budgets that the O’Brien Memorial Library and the Upper McKenzie Fire Department are facing in their own planning processes with Pivot. “We understand that building costs have gone up,” she said. “Some of our board members have just rebuilt homes themselves. But we think we can control costs.”

The next McKenzie Valley Wellness board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 29th at 7 p.m. at the Living Water Fellowship building, 52353 McKenzie Hwy., in Blue River. “Our MVW Board is developing a strategy on our next steps to plan our rebuild of the health clinic.,” Rapp said. The clinic rebuild will be the first topic on the agenda.

In the interim Carmen Graham of the Oregon Department of Justice says the DOJ is reviewing the Public Records request filed by McKenzie River Reflections on October 31st. The filing asked for the questions the DOJ posed to McKenzie Vall-ey Wellness and their responses. Graham said the review and redactions should be completed by next Tuesday.


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