People First of Oregon Salem Chapter       

Fairview: The Closing Chapter


Selling Fairview site may take many years
The property is being appraised and the state will part with it --- eventually. 

SALEM - Fairview Training Center closes this month, but the 275-acre, hillside campus may not be sold for years. The state eventually plans to sell get Southeast Salem property with views, buildings, a stream and trees for residential development.

Salem-Keizer School District may buy a piece for a future school, and the city of Salem will decide how  much to buy for parks. For now, however, the land and buildings are being appraised. 

The state may require that LeBreton, Fairview's first building, circa 1908, be a part of any future project.  A few other buildings are potential candidates, depending on the outcome of the appraisal, said Bill Nickleberry of the state Department of Administrative Services. They include the Possible Building built in 1986 with and donations, The center's cafeteria and multipurpose building housing a gymnasium and pool are candidates.

None of the 61 buildings, totaling more than a half-million square feet, is on a historic registry.  The buildings include an inner circle of large, two story homes that look institutional and were built in the 1920's.  The administration building was built in 1957.  Across campus, a mismash of architecture spans the century, from about 14 to 92 years old.  Discussions are under way among state officials and various advocacy groups about how to preserve and showcase Fairview's history.

After the appraisal, the state will work with city officials to rezone the property for a change in use.  A state-formed committee has been meeting to draft recommendations for a master plan.

 But even when details I about how to develop the property are decided, millions of dollars worth of sewer, water and street improvements are needed.  The area is not on the city's short -term list of projects to fund, meaning a developer would have to front the costs.  The Salem City Council decides when to extend services to an area. bottom line?

"It is . highly likely that this time next year and maybe even a couple years out that the state will still be owning that property," Nickleberry said. For now, he is working on an interim policy to lease some of the buildings.  

This article by Cheryl Martinis was published by the Oregonian, February 20, 2000