University finds oil tank under Trombley Square

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During the summer, Pacific University underwent several renovation projects, one involving Trombley Square.

The university was aiming to patch a bit of sidewalk to fix a dirt area where students were cutting across when a pipe that led to a huge oil tank was discovered.

“This was sort of interesting, it was not planned,” president Lesley Hallick said.

The oil tank held about 650 gallons of oil and could have been a heat source for Marsh Hall decades ago.

Working with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the university decided to drain the oil and clean the tank before receiving permission to cover it back up.

Trombley Square, properly known as Charles Trombley Square was named after Charles Trombley who passed away in 1984. The square was built for relaxation, conversational and event purposes in honor of Trombley who also happened to be an alumnus, voice instructor, Director of Admissions and then Dean of Students.

This initial project that held it’s grand opening in 1985, was one that involved the Pacific community to help design and create this plaza in place of the parking lot that once sat in that very same spot.

Now, the project will be postponed until May because the entire square will need to be dug up and rebuilt. It is expected that several tons of dirt will need to be removed and then backfilled.

The oil tank will then need to be cut up into many pieces in order to be removed and everything will cost in a rough ballpark of $250,000.

The area will then have a concrete pathway where the gravel is currently. “Of course, we find something like that, we have to fix it” Hallick said. “It was kind of an odd surprise.”



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