PENDLETON - The family owners of the East Oregonian will launch the company's $2 million-plus building expansion and renovation project at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The family owned newspaper company will add 7,300 square feet to its current 15,600 square foot building at 211 S.E. Byers Ave. The project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2006.

In addition, the project will renovate the existing offices and work areas.

Steve Forrester, president of the East Oregonian Publishing Co.; Mike Forrester, chairman of the board and former EO editor; Eleanor Forrester of Portland, and Kathryn Brown of Portland will join Amy Bedford and Jacqueline Brown of Pendleton in the ceremonial turning of the first shovels of dirt.

Following the ceremony, visitors will be invited to join the family and EO employees for refreshments and tours of the existing EO building.

"It will be very interesting for folks to see us now, and then come back next spring and see the changes," said Publisher Dave Balcom. "It will put this project into perspective."

The project's architect is Sargent Architects of Hermiston, and Mike Becker General Contractor of La Grande is the intended builder.

"It has been our intention all along to use Eastern Oregon based businesses as much as possible -- people who do business where we do," Balcom said. "Of the subcontractors for this project, 17 of 28 are local."

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