This is a great example of bottom-up creativity here in Salem.
As far as I know, the City of Salem had no intention of buying the 45-acre property that formerly housed the Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility until Salem activist Mark Wigg proposed this, and I shared Wigg's ideas in a September 2018 blog post that went to City officials: "Hillcrest is for sale. The City of Salem should buy it."
Here's how my post started out.
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."
It's good to see that City officials are seriously considering Wigg's idea, as reported yesterday in a Statesman Journal story, "City of Salem considers purchasing former Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility property."
Salem officials are weighing whether to buy the former Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility on the city's southeast side, though it's too soon to say what they'd do with the land.
...The Oregon Department of Administrative Services, which generally handles the state's real estate transactions, has listed the roughly 45-acre Hillcrest site at 2450 Strong Road SE — across the street from the former Fairview Training Center property — for $5.6 million.
...Hillcrest has several halls, an administrative building and a former high school. Should Salem officials buy the Hillcrest site, they would consider leaving at least one of the buildings for housing, according to a city report.
The site's administrative building is apparently "the most feasible option" to turn into transitional single room occupant housing that would include restroom and kitchen facilities, according to the report.
Since Mark Wigg had a great idea about the City of Salem buying Hillcrest, the folks at City Hall should pay attention to other Wigg proposals. In 2016 I wrote about his idea for a Salemtowne to Downtown multi-use path in "Why people will LOVE to use a multi-use path in West Salem."
And here's Wigg's newest great idea for a multi-use path he calls the West Salem Loop. It incorporates the Salemtowne to Downtown path along a Marine Drive easement. See this PDF file for the long description of the proposal.
Download Trail dream-West Salem Loop
This is a short description. The petition can be viewed and printed out via this PDF file.
Download West Salem Loop petition
Here's clickable email links for Councilor Jim Lewis and Councilor Cara Kaser. Please let them know that you want the City of Salem to make the West Salem Loop a priority. This would be a wonderful addition to Salem's multi-use paths.