Adair Village city councilors are discussing the use of two World War II-era former barracks at the north end of downtown. The two buildings — both 125 feet long by 25 feet wide — could serve a dual purpose.
The historical resources committee recommended that one building house a Boys & Girls Club program after school and serve as a classroom for Linn-Benton Community College courses in the evening.
The other barracks has been slated to serve as both an interpretive center and community center.
“Our hope is to set the buildings up to be used by the public,” City Administrator Drew Foster said.
The Boys & Girls Club is very interested in the space, Foster said, adding “There are no programs out here at all for our high school kids.”
Some children from Adair Village attend schools in Corvallis.
“If they stay after school, there is no busing. There are a lot of limitations for our youth, and this plan would open up more doors.”
The interpretive center would offer information on the town’s history by bringing in displays of artifacts from neighboring museums on a rotating basis. Preserving the area’s history is the city’s reason for acquiring the barracks buildings. They date to Adair Village’s history as Camp Adair, a military base built in 1942 during World War II that, at its height, was one of the most populous places in Oregon.
“They’re the only two World War II barracks in the area, and that’s why the city wanted to save them,” barracks project manager Candice Dinnis said. “They’re so much part of the history of the area.”
The barracks were given to the city, which was incorporated in 1976, by the Santiam Christian Schools. The buildings were moved from the school’s campus to downtown Adair Village last spring and summer. The exteriors of the barracks were refurbished in December 2010 with new siding, roof and windows. The insides will be refurbished after a plan is decided and the funding is secured.
The council members will see a written proposal for the barracks at their Feb. 15 meeting, when they are expected to vote on plans for the barracks, which could include locating an adjacent plaza. Dinnis said that once a decision is made, work could take about six months.