A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Cumberland Center: So what happens next?

Written October 22nd, 2021 by Hasso Hering

The relocated Cumberland Church near the Albany Skatepark on Oct. 19.

Now that the old Cumberland Church has been moved to its new site, how soon before it becomes available as the community events center its new owners have in mind? Their goal is 2023, but it depends on how much money they can raise how soon.

Because I was out of town, I missed the long-awaited operation Sunday and Monday to move the 1892 building from 401 Main Street to 520 Pine, about a quarter mile. So what’s next for this venture, I wondered when I went by the site on Oct. 19.

The next step is the construction of a new foundation under the building, explained Joel Orton, vice president of the Cumberland Community Events Center, the nonprofit that bought the old church from the city of Albany.

Once the concrete is cured, the building will be lowered and the excavation backfilled, and Orton expects this to be done over the next month or two.

The steeple was moved separately and is to be restored before it’s put back on. Its condition will be assessed to determine how much work is needed and to estimate the cost. So it may be a while before you see the steeple up where it belongs.

As for the building itself, the owners want to stabilize the outside before it deteriorates further. “Similar to the steeple work, we will start by assessing the condition to determine the required work and what the costs will be,” Orton told me. “The focus will be on the roof and siding.”

The pace of progress will depend on fundraising. If you want to help, you can find out how by going to the center’s website here.

“We’ve gotten this far through community support in the way of cash and in-kind donations plus some modest grants,” Orton wrote. “We will continue to pursue these types of support … and hope that the move of the building will help accelerate our success in this area.”

So far, the nonprofit has raised about $280,000, which was used to buy one lot from the city and cover various costs related to the move.  Now they will turn their efforts toward the main part of the project, refitting and expanding the building and improving the site, including building a parking lot.

To purchase three remaining lots needed for the project from the city will cost $207,000 plus closing costs, Orton said. As for the rest of the expense, they won’t know until the design work is complete and estimates can be worked up. One early estimate for the whole thing, in early 2020, was for more than $1 million.

The boxed-up steeple waits on Oct. 19 to be repaired before being put back on the former church.

9 responses to “Cumberland Center: So what happens next?”

  1. Sharon Konopa says:

    Big, big kudos to the volunteers and donors in getting over this huge hurdle by successfully moving the church! Thank you Hasso for mentioning donations are needed and providing a link to the website!

  2. Joel Orton says:

    Thank you, Hasso, for giving me the opportunity to provide an update on the next steps for the Cumberland. Unfortunately, not included in your story is why we’re doing this. As noted in the information I sent: our initial efforts have been focused on saving the building from demolition and getting it moved to the new site.
    Now we can concentrate on the ultimate goal of creating an events center for the community which hosts youth and family-oriented activities and events, including educational and enrichment programs.
    The board feels this is a very good reason to make this type of long-term investment in our community.

  3. James Engel says:

    So where is CARA to help in a big way??!! This is one projected I’d get behind & have donated to.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      CARA is not in the picture. Quite a while ago, both CARA & ARA directed staff to no longer do any grant/loan applications other than the big-3: Waterfront, St. Francis, & Wells Fargo projects in order to facilitate completing the URD process.

      • Dick Olsen says:

        I disagree. CARA should help with this worthy project.

      • Mr Patrick Henry says:

        I recall that, the group stated that they would not ask for funds from the city or cara, that Is why they got it on the cheap.

  4. Bill Kapaun says:

    How many random, non tax generating, plots of land does the City own? Why?


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