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Mercy Corps opens new building in Old Town

United States, October 9, 2009

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Kristian Foden-Vencil

OPB News
October, 2009

Listen to audio report here

Hundreds of people were in Portland’s old town district Friday to open Mercy Corps’ new building. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports.

They celebrated with music, speeches and a tour of the $37 million headquarters.

The 140 employees have been in the building for the last month, which spokesman, Jeremy Barnicle, says is just as well.

Jeremy Barnicle: “If the Indonesia earthquake would have happened when we were in the last building it would have involved us running literally among six different buildings trying to coordinate. Obviously a lot of our work happens on the phone and by e-mail, but everything that happens in person in the past would have involved running back and forth across 1st Ave. and risk getting hit by a bus.”

Barnicle says Mercy Corps raised nearly $10 million for the building in a separate capital campaign.

Meaning that none of the money people donated toward disasters like the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, went to the building.