Some quiet changes are taking place in downtown Scio: The Carol Bates Memorial Stage is expected to be ready for this year's Linn County Lamb & Wool Fair, a renovated veterans memorial will be dedicated July 4, and the ZCBJ Hall has a new patio.
"The memorial stage is a long-term project for Scio and the rural area around here," said Audie Hiekkila, co-owner of the Scio Feed & Country Store.
The stage honors Carol Bates, a longtime Scio resident, who was the city's official booster, historian and operator of an antique store on Main Street. She died in January 2004.
To celebrate the area's covered-bridge heritage, the stage will look like a bridge. The sides will fold back from the front to reveal a stage.
The stage will debut at this year's fair May 16-18 and will be available for use during the summers.
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Most of the labor has been provided by volunteers with the help of the Knife River and Green and White gravel companies, he said. Three of the four exterior walls are up and the foundation is completed.
The stage is at the fairgrounds behind the Scio True Value Hardware Store.
The Scio Veterans Memorial is being refurbished. It will feature five brick-lined columns formed in a V-shape surrounded by plants and trees. A new flagpole will be part of the design.
Sales of commemorative bricks are under way. Those interested can purchase one for a veteran who served in any branch of the service at any time. Contact Pam Bush at (541) 990-0832, and she'll provide an application form via the mail. Another option is to get a form through e-mail, at vetsmemorial@
Providing guidance on the project are the Albany Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Albany American Legion, the Lebanon American Legion and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 585.
To make way for the new bridge over Thomas Creek, the historic ZCBJ Hall was moved back 25 feet. As part of the project, an aggregate stone patio was placed in the front where more events can be held.
The building also has a new foundation and a new basement.
Scio residents are in the process of looking for funds from nonprofit groups to purchase a lot behind the 86-year-old building for extra parking.
A new capital campaign will be launched soon to refurbish the kitchen and bathroom.
The ZCBJ Hall was built by Czechs who populated the area at one time. It served as a gymnasium and dances were held there. The building has become the area's community hall.