The Oregon State University Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center (KBREC) consolidated its two locations this week. Now all the offices, research and education classroom are at 6923 Washburn Way, at the south end of Klamath Falls.
“This is our new campus in Klamath County,” said Willie Riggs, KBREC director.
Previously offices and an auditorium for teaching were located on Vandenberg Road. About a year and a half ago, Klamath County and KBREC decided to consolidate the two locations to make room for other county offices at the Vandenberg location.
The “new” buildings on Washburn Way are two used modulars.
One was built in 1998 and was the former home of a medical clinic in Southern Washington, Riggs said. That building is 60 feet by 56 feet and housing offices for KBREC staff.
The second building, built in 2009, is 28 feet by 64 feet and formerly housed a chemistry classroom. It will be the new home of KBREC classes. It includes a kitchen and conference area. Riggs said the classroom space is about the same as the auditorium space at the Vandenberg site.
The only loss in the move is some storage space, Riggs said. Otherwise the move looks as though it will save KBREC time and money.
The KBREC offices and classroom are going from 9,000-square-feet to 5,000-square-feet.
KBREC paid $49,000 a year in rent at the Vandenberg locations and will pay $25,000 a year in the new buildings, Riggs said.
Riggs expects to save money on utilities, too. For instance, KBREC formerly had to pay for two internet lines to its two locations. With one location, there is only one line, and it saves $400 a month.
Riggs said he also needed staff to take mail from one location to another. In a given week it could add up to three hours of drive time. Now those three hours can be used more productively.
The buildings arrived around Labor Day, and for the past three months county staff has finished electrical, water and sewer hookups, and renovated the inside of the office building. Riggs commended Tom Banks, county maintenance supervisor, and his staff, for all the work they’ve done.
The buildings join the KBREC’s existing buildings and agricultural fields at the south end of Washburn Way. KBREC owns the older buildings and only pays rent on the new ones.
About 20 people work at the consolidated extension center.
This week KBREC was closed for the move. On Monday it will be open for business again. The phone number for the Washburn location is 541-883-7131.