Sherman County Dedicated New Office June 13
On Wednesday, June 13, Sherman County dedicated its first new office building since they opened the historical County Courthouse in 1899, with a special ceremony at the Sherman Experiment Station near Moro.
The dedication was of the annual research field day, celebrating new findings of agricultural interests to producers. The new building itself will house the County Planning Office, the County Weed Department, the County’s OSU Extension Service and the Sherman Station Manager, marking a unique cooperative effort by the county and the state land grant university.
The new 3,650 square foot facility also features a conference room that will be available to the public and local groups, such as many 4H related groups and advisory boards, plus offer enough room for educational presentations.
The building is a county owned and built facility but incorporates a blending of old and new. It replaces the old Experiment Station lab and office, which while an old building, was not historical. It was also in bad need of repair and upgrading. Original plans to combine the Experiment Station and Extension Office were to remodel, but the sagging floors, 2X4 ceiling joists on erratic centers, poor insulation, lack of handicap accessibility, high asbestos and lead paint issues signaled replacement beyond repairing. The County Extension office faced similar challenges and the marriage of the two made good sense.
While Sherman County was the primary financial backer, the facility also received generous support of $75,000 each from the Sherman Station Endowment Fund and the Sherman Development League. Oregon State University Extension and the College of Ag Sciences also pledged support in the effort.
The dedication was held on Wednesday, June 13. Speakers included newly appointed Dean of the College of Ag Sciences at OSU, Dan Arp, Extension Director Scott Reed, farmer Ernie Moore, chair of both the Station Liaison Council and the Sherman Station Endowment Fund and Steve Burnet, Sherman County Commissioner.
As a new facility the building has many energy saving features that will passively reduce heating and lighting costs. Plus in an effort to blend the old with the new, much of the trim and center hallway are from wood salvaged and recycled from the old Experiment Station building adding character to office. The rock wall that covers the conference room was also a money savings measure with local rock provided from County road crews. The building is also the first known building to use Juniper siding on the outside which should provide an insect free and smart look. The Juniper was logged and milled by Kendal Derby of Fossil (married to Wheeler County Agent Amy Derby).
Sherman County Commissioner Burnet stated that the County’s role in this cooperative project should send a loud message of the County’s continued support for continued research at the station.