The Marion and Linn county offices of the Oregon State University Extension Service are packing decades of history into moving vans and relocating their offices.
The Linn County Extension office is moving from the Old Armory Building in downtown Albany, a site it has leased since the mid-1980s, to 33630 McFarland Road in Tangent.
The Marion County Extension office is moving from 3180 Center St. NE in Salem to a building the Oregon Farm Bureau purchased earlier this year at 1320 Capitol St. NE, also in Salem.
Pamela Rose, leader of Marion County Extension, said the service is moving to accommodate the needs of Marion County Health Department, which plans to take over the current extension office as part of expansion plans.
The service has leased an office from the county at the Center Street locale since the mid-1970s, according to John Burt, former chair of Marion County Extension Service.
“It’s a lot of work,” Rose said of the move. “We’re all trying to use it as an opportunity to recycle materials and clean out things and make the best use of items we’re taking with us.”
Between 16 and 18 extension personnel will be relocated as part of the move, Rose said. The new office also will provide shared offices for master gardeners and other volunteers, she said.
The county will continue with its current arrangement of funding the service’s office-rental costs, Rose said.
The service is looking at a late-January move-in date.
Linn County Extension also is looking at a late-January move from its current office to the former Farm Service Agency building in Tangent.
The move has several upsides, said county leader Robin Galloway.
The location will provide easier access for farmers and others who use the service, both because of its more centralized location and because of parking.
“We have huge problems now with parking,” Galloway said, “especially with so many of our clients driving pickups.”
Even 4-H folks with horse trailers now will be able to easily access the more rural extension office, Galloway said.
The site also is “a straight shot” from Harrisburg, Sweet Home, Lebanon and other departure points for extension clientele, Galloway said.
The county purchased the building earlier this year with the service in mind, Galloway said.
“On the downside,” Galloway joked, “there are no coffee shops, and we can’t walk down to the river on our breaks.”
Rent is essentially the same, Galloway said. The service pays its rent and other basic expenses with tax revenue from a service district that voters passed in 2008.
About 13 extension personnel are involved in the move, Galloway said.