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George Fox University will move Villa Road House to make way for residence hall

ALICIA WOLVERTON - Workers prepare the Villa Road House for transport on Sunday to its new home near the intersection of Meridian and Sheridan streets.

George Fox University has chosen to salvage and relocate two historic campus buildings in a move undertaken last weekend.

The home, known as the Villa Road House, and an adjoining carriage house, will be moved Sunday to an empty lot on Sheridan Street between the Armstrong House and the Sheridan Street House near the corner of Sheridan and Meridian streets.

"We considered knocking it down and that was not a popular option, so I think the administration wanted to save the historic house," Rob Felton, GFU director of marketing and public information, said. "There is the benefit that it will be maintained as student housing. It is cost effective for us to not have to construct a new building, so it is a win-win for us."

A GFU crew preparing the structure for moving unearthed some history when a roll of old barbed wire fencing was found in the carriage house, indicating that the home was once the center of an agricultural operation. Crews also found an old iron buried near the foundation of the home.

Anderson Construction is the contractor charged with planning and establishing the route to move the 2,400-square-foot, two story house and the departure and arrival times. Oxbo Mega Transport Solutions, also known as "NW Structural Moving," will begin relocating the home at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday. The route will be north on Villa Road to Fulton Street, then south on Meridian Street to Sheridan Street. Because of the size of the home, officials expect it to take about seven hours to complete the move. If all goes to plan, the structure should arrive at its new home at 910 E. Sheridan St. at 6 p.m.

"It will still be lifted up for a little while and will not go on the foundation right away," Felton said. "There will be some foundation work. We are hoping that it will be in place and ready for this fall."

The structure is student housing for upperclassmen at the university and after the move will be known as Chehalem House.

"It was chosen in honor of the Chehalem Mountains and the Atfalati Indian bands that lived here in the region up until the 1800s," Felton said.

There will be a slight inconvenience for some of the neighbors with detours and road closures throughout the day; three homes Fulton and Meridian streets will lose power for part of the day. Frontier Cable will be down for 24 homes on Sunday near the corner of Fulton and Meridian streets and along Meridian and Sheridan streets. For more information, visit www.georgefox.edu/villa/index.html.

Public street parking will not be allowed on portions of Fulton or North Meridian from Saturday night until the structure has passed. Fulton and North Meridian streets will also be blocked for parts of the day. George Fox is providing free parking in its Bauman Auditorium/Stoffer Stadium lot for neighbors.

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