WINCHESTER — Almost two years after a mass shooting on Oct. 1, 2015, the Umpqua Community College Board of Trustees Memorial Advisory Subcommittee has selected a tentative campus location for a future memorial.
The spot is located on a small bluff behind Jackson Hall overlooking a panoramic view of the North Umpqua River. This location still requires final approval by the UCC Board of Trustees.
At a meeting Wednesday, no other decisions were made about the design and what the memorial will look like at this time, but the committee is looking to find an architect to represent the project and has two architects in mind.
The committee is made up of family members of the victims, college staff, board members, former board members and community representatives. It is currently looking to invite representatives from the city and the county in order to place a potential memorial off campus.
“This group has come together to listen to the families and to talk about what opportunities we have for a memorial,” said Jess Miller, the UCC director of facilities, also a member of the committee.
“We want to do some design work on what that memorial will look like, and we’ve established that we can do a number of memorials that would tie to the community and to the college,” Miller said.
The committee has tentatively agreed on a recommendation to have three memorials: one on campus, one on the outskirts of campus and one in the community. Locations and designs for these potential memorials have not been determined and no recommendations have been presented to the board.
UCC board member Wendy Weikum attended the meeting for the first time and asked about the funding of the project.
Former board member Chris Rusch, who is also on the committee, responded that “we’re not supposed to have any limitations.”
The committee is also working on obtaining a drone image of the location to give designers creative ideas.
A decision was also made to place a link on the college website where updates can be made to inform the community about the committee’s progress as it makes decisions on memorials on campus and within the community.
A couple of committee members took a walk with Miller after the meeting to visit the approved memorial location near Jackson Hall and to admire the location with its expansive scenic river view.
“We don’t want to exploit this, we want this to be something for the families and the community members,” Miller said.
Several key members on the committee were out of town, so the meeting will resume at a later date when all the committee members are back and when new committee members have been confirmed and notified.