The State of Oregon has put the 45 acre Hillcrest property up for sale. According to Wikipedia, Hillcrest was a youth correctional facility that closed on September 1, 2017.
I learned of this from Mark Wigg, who is active in promoting more walking/cycling trails in Salem, along with more parks. Below you can read a presentation Wigg emailed me, which I presume has been sent to City of Salem officials and City Council members.
What he says makes a lot of sense. In a follow-up email, Wigg added: "Living accommodations for 300. Gym kitchens classrooms pool."
After the presentation I'll share some images and text from the Department of Administrative Services web page listing about the Hillcrest property being offered for sale.
If I read the appraisal document correctly, the estimated value of the entire property is $5,600,000.
Presentation by Mark Wigg:
Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility is for sale.
Why should the city acquire Hillcrest?
The City’s parks master plan identifies a need for an urban park in this area, see below.
Salem Parks Master Plan
The Hillcrest Property currently has many of the facilities listed as standard and has more than a dozen other amenities on the list for Urban Parks as optional. In addition, it could provide a linear park, connector trails, special use facilities, historic area, and natural areas. It could also provide housing.
Salem Parks Master Plan List of Amenities by Classification
The Trail System portion of the Master Plan identifies a trail along Reed Road on the property. The city already has parkland along Reed Road near Battle Creek Road, so the city could complete the multiuse trail paralleling Reed Road and save millions by not having to do a full build of Reed Road to accommodate curbs, drainage, sidewalks and bike lanes.
Salem Parks Master Plan Trail System
The Transportation System Plan calls for bike lanes on Reed Road, a parallel multiuse path through parks from Battle Creek to Strong Road would be safer, more used and enjoyed by the public and far less expensive than a full-build of Reed Road.
Paying for Hillcrest
- Salem Housing Authority has expressed an interest in portions of the facility but not the entire facility. SHA has money.
- Salem Parks System Development Fund has money for park acquisition.
- Salem Transportation funds could be used for the multiuse trails.
- And the Mill Creek URA could become a source of funding.
Mill Creek URA boundaries and goals can be adjusted to accomplish additional community priorities such as housing, and parks. Hillcrest is less than a 3,000 feet from the Kuebler Interchange and URA boundary. If housing and public amenities were added to the list of goals for Mill Creek URA, and the boundary was adjusted to include Hillcrest, the URA could help fund some of the actions needs.
Let the state know that the City of Salem is interested in acquiring the entire Hillcrest property.
Here's a larger image of the built portion of the property -- again, from a State of Oregon web page.
Here's the Department of Administrative Services description of the property:
About the property
The former Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility is located in southeast Salem, Oregon at the southeast corner of Reed and Strong roads (2450 Strong Road SE). This 44.6 acre property includes 207,000 square feet of rentable building space on the 23.8 acre developed campus. The remainder is undeveloped land, a forested slope of 11.8 acres, and a flat parcel of 9.0 acres. It includes 17 buildings. Utilities provided to the property include natural gas, electricity and city sewer. Water service is provided by a well located off-site and a 48,000 gallon water tower is located on the property.
The property is currently zoned Public and Private Health.
The majority of the buildings at the property are clustered in a campus type setting on a hilltop surrounded by a perimeter fence. The buildings were constructed between 1923 and 2003.
I did some visits when I was volunteering there. I suspect the state abandoned it because they didn’t want to pay to earthquake harden those buildings. I don’t know what year code they’re built for, but I’d be astonished if it was anything close to what we now know is needed.
Posted by: Walker | October 10, 2018 at 12:08 AM
There are many, many sad little ghosts at the site of HIllcrest School. The collective dread from so many young souls being driven up that driveway will cast a permanent fog.
Posted by: Denise S, former inmate 1971-1973 (and never-caught runaway!) | December 15, 2018 at 09:59 PM
They need to just demolish all the buildings Then that would leave a lot open for all kinds of ideas because the history that goes along with those buildings nothing that we need to remember and I know because I was an inmate there between the years 1991 and 1993.
Posted by: Colleen C. | February 20, 2020 at 03:28 PM