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Medford gets Santo Center deed

BY JIM DAVIS

The Santo Center formally became the Santo Community Center on Friday.

At a ceremony complete with a large cardboard deed and red, white and blue crepe paper, the federal government handed over the west Medford building and property to the city. It will be the first community center in Medford.

Nothing is more important than making our communities stronger and better, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said. And that's what this is about.

More than 50 people from several government agencies as well as a few kids crowded into a classroom at the building at 701 N. Columbus Ave. for the deed ceremony.

The site is a former U.S. Army Reserve facility leased by the city in 1997.

Wyden said that getting the property turned over from the federal government to the city was a testament to hard work.

If you are persistent enough to cut through enough red tape to cover the Cascades, you can get results, said Wyden, referring to a struggle that lasted for months over what government agency would get the building.

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden said the center will be a place for groups such as Boy Scouts and seniors to meet, and for local celebrations.

The real excitement will come with what this facility will be like in a year and the years to follow, Walden said.