Lane Community College President Mary Spilde and Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz received the 2012 Intergovernmental Team Award from the Lane Council of Governments at its annual Appreciation Dinner on February 28. The duo was credited for working together on Lane’s new Downtown Campus, which is serving as a significant catalyst for downtown’s recent wave of redevelopment.
The two set an outstanding example of individual leaders reaching across traditional boundaries to join forces for the greater public good. As a result of some outside-the-box thinking in 2009, they presented to the LCC board, the City Council and the community, a vision for a new Lane Community College downtown campus to replace one of the city’s most wearisome eyesores, the pit where an old Sears store once stood. Now, a $53 million campus has emerged, including a first-ever student apartment building for the college, and an innovative new academic, business and community building.
Both buildings are models of sustainability in keeping with goals and values held by the city, the college and throughout the region. The housing building meets LEED Gold energy efficiency standards, and the academic building will earn the rating system’s highest level—LEED Platinum. The Downtown Campus will directly serve more than 8,000 students annually, helping Lane better serve the rest of its 37,000 students per year throughout its district.
The project is bringing new residents downtown, including students from across the country and the world, as well as new businesses, new shoppers, and new visitors. All are contributing to the diversity of the community, the growth of the local economy, and improvement in Eugene’s downtown.