First year UCC student Isaac Cherry looks out over the Umpqua from the site of the planned Memorial.
Oct. 1, 2015 Memorial Funding and Planning Progress
The Roseburg community is closer than ever to having a permanent memorial to the victims of the campus shooting on Oct. 1, 2015. Fundraising began at the UCC Legacy ball on Nov. 1 as the next step in the multiyear process of planning the memorial.
Each year at the Legacy Ball, a special appeal is made for donations to a specific financial need related to the college. The special appeal at the Nov. 1 ball for donations toward the construction of a Oct. 1 memorial on the UCC campus raised $55,750 of the $100,000 goal. As of Nov. 14, ongoing fundraising raised approximately $87,550.
The plan for the memorial, which includes nine illuminated metal spheres on a platform overlooking the Umpqua river along the north side of Jackson hall, was approved by the UCC board of Education on Dec. 12, 2018, according to UCC’s archived board reports. The Board of Education approval included a donated sketched rendering and a request to proceed with the memorial’s detailed design, fundraising and construction.
“I want everyone to know that the memorial was a topic discussed and voted on by the UCC Board of Education nearly a year ago,” Tiffany Coleman, UCC’s chief advancement officer and executive director of the UCC Foundation, said. “The new information is that the UCC Foundation stepped forward to help fund the memorial’s construction.”
At the Nov. 1 Legacy Ball, an enhanced version of the original rendering was unveiled.
The December 12, 2018 recommendation was submitted by the Memorial Committee, which included community members, family members who lost a student on 10/1, city and county officials, a student from 2015, faculty, staff, administrators and Board of Education representatives.
One of the members of the committee was Jess Miller, UCC director of facilities and security and project manager for the memorial. “The design was a long process of discussions with community partners, faculty, staff, Douglas County, City of Roseburg, Victim Advocates, victim families, Board of Education, and Facilities,” Miller said.
The December, 2018 recommendation states that two locations were proposed, one on campus and one off campus at a city or county park. Subcommittees were created for each location and consensus was reached by both subcommittees and the primary committee, and the concept was designed for the on-campus location.
“I have two contractors who are in the running [for the construction of the memorial] with an estimate of $100,000,” Miller said. “The $100,000 will cover the memorial as well as an expansion of the fire turn around location between Jackson Hall and the Educational Skills Building to provide a larger area for fire trucks as well.” The enlarged fire lane is necessary to provide space for American Disability Act parking and ADA accessibility to the memorial.
According to UCC President Debra Thatcher, the $100,000 will be used for tree removal, tree planting, leveling the construction site, building a deck area, constructing rock barriers to protect visitors from falling over the cliff and running electricity to the site in addition to creating ADA access.
“We feel confident that some of the work will be in kind (donated),” said Thatcher. “We do need a contingency fund in case of any unexpected costs which tend to occur with a construction project.”
An estimated cost breakdown was unavailable. “As this will be primarily donated work and some level of artistic design, we will not have this (cost breakdown) until just before construction,” Miller said.
According to Coleman, the dates for construction will be determined by when the fundraising goal of $100,000 is met. Of the funds that have been raised as of Nov. 14, donations came from the Legacy Ball, Northwest Community Credit Union, Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation and an email donation campaign.
“We anticipate (beginning construction) in the spring,” Miller said. “Again, donation funding makes dates more flexible, but I anticipate the memorial being completed before school starts in September of 2020.”
The UCC welding department will create the nine steel spheres featured in the memorial. “Each sphere will follow a similar pattern but be unique in size and construction,” Ian Fisher, a UCC welding instructor, said. “This will represent the uniqueness of each of the individuals lost on Oct. 1, 2015.”
The spheres will be constructed using the cut out hearts from the metal signs of Oregon with a heart shaped hole over Roseburg. Those signs were made by Justin Troxel, the UCC welding department and others as a fundraising effort after the shooting on Oct. 1, 2015.
“Being able to use these materials adds another level of meaning to this project,” Fisher said. “The welding department is honored to be able to contribute to this project.”
“I believe this will be a spectacular site for reflection and contemplation for anyone who would wish to visit. I feel this dedication to the victims of Oct. 1 2015 could never match the sacrifices the families have endured,” Miller said. “I am honored to be allowed to take part in this amazing project.”
The memorial’s proposed location on a knoll overlooking the river will allow observers to enjoy the beautiful view and mellifluous sound of the river while reflecting.