HERMISTON — The Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce is almost ready to hire a contractor to build its new workforce development center.

Kimberly Nevil, executive director for the chamber, said the building will be roughly 6,000 square feet and include a “beautiful” lobby to promote business in the area, offices for chamber staff and a large space that will be available for workforce development classes and activities.

“It’s a pretty awesome building so far,” she said.

The board has been working behind the scenes on preliminary designs, and in the next week or two will be opening a 30-day public hearing period on using a design-build process, after which they will put out a request for proposals. Nevil said there will likely be a kick-off event to showcase designs to the public before the project is built.

The chamber purchased a 2.4-acre parcel on the southeast corner of Highway 395 and East Evelyn Avenue, across from New Hope Church, in early 2019 to build new headquarters. They have been temporarily renting office space in the Cornerstone Plaza since January 2018, after the city of Hermiston did not renew the chamber’s contract to run the Hermiston Community Center.

The legislature earmarked $1 million for the project in 2018, and Nevil said the chamber plans to launch a fundraising effort through a foundation that will help not only promote the fundraising opportunities for the new building, but also work toward the “longterm success of the chamber.”

Reporter

Reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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