Letters to the Editor

Questions left unanswered for new indoor track

 A $30-40 million indoor track is being planned for the University athletic department by Nike’s primary architect. The drawings surfaced as part of the Eugene ’08 Olympic Track and Field Trials masterplanning “vision.”

How will the track be funded? Where will the architect decide to locate it? Is the legacy gift Phil Knight gave to the athletic department contingent on this track occupying a particular site? Is the legacy gift contingent on the University gaining bonding authority to build this track?

Is the gift also contingent on Nike’s architect getting to select the site for the track? Will the University use eminent domain again to get a site for the track? Will the contracting of the track project be a no-bid contract affair like the Nike arena deal?

Could the University be forced to deal with nearly $200 million in deferred maintenance on the main campus or the infamous dungeon dorms before launching another sports spending spree? Is keeping the Nike legacy gift dependent on completing this track by a
particular date?

Will the area surrounding the new track eventually be the site for high end public-private housing development like the City of Eugene planners are quietly scheming in Fairmont neighborhood around the Nike arena? Will the track be sited next to the arena? How soon will the privately designed (by Phit LLC), segregated athlete learning center open?

Some claim Eugene is a divided community. It seems the origin of that division is local media’s failure to identify and investigate development projects in a timely and detailed manner.

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