PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Oregon’s universities were given approval by a key committee Thursday, June 24, to use nearly $446 million in state bonds to finance major building and renovation projects.
A football stadium grandstand, two student success centers, classrooms, a manufacturing laboratory and theater were on the final list for $445,905,100 in bonds to be sold to public markets.
While major new buildings will go up in Bend, Klamath Falls and Scappoose, much of the money will be spent extending the life of existing buildings ranging from historic to just old, but all with archaic spaces and systems.
A state study showed that nearly half of all public university buildings are over three decades old with the average age hitting 34 years. In addition to specific projects, the bonds will be used to pay for $80,810,000 in general maintenance and repairs across the state university system, including improving access for the disabled and updating systems to meet modern use and safety codes.
All cost figures for projects include debt service and sales costs connected to the bonds. The funding now heads to the House and Senate for approval.
Oregon Institute of Technology/Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center, Scappoose
Bonds would pay for two new labs within the Research and Development facility, including a powdered metal handling vault and airlock to support the addition of laser powder bed fusion and binder jetting methods of additive manufacturing. Office space, conference rooms and other spaces will allow partnering with university researchers from other locations to develop new additive manufacturing projects.
Portland State University, Portland
Gateway Center, $68,990,000
The existing Art Building would be renovated, with space on an adjacent lot use to expand the School of Art and Design, the Center for Student Health and Counseling, and the Speech and Hearing Sciences program areas. Classrooms, laboratories, study and meeting spaces would receive upgrades. The building will be designed to include business or commercial space.
Oregon State University, Corvallis
Reser Stadium, $40,555,000
The football stadium for the Oregon State Beavers will get a new west grandstand. It will include new seating, enclosures, restrooms, concessions, press boxes and athletic training and storage spaces. Around the stadium will be new parking, walkways and lanes for vehicles, including fire lanes. The plan may include interior facilities for academics or a health care facility.
Cordley Hall, $87,065,000
The 1950s-era building houses the school’s Integrative Biology and Botany and Plant Pathology program with students and their research having a worldwide impact. The 235,000-square-foot building is the site of classes for about 60 percent of all students on the Corvallis campus. The renovation will include environmentally and economically advanced heating, cooling and electrical systems. The overhaul will transform classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices. Seismic upgrades will be made to better withstand large earthquakes that were relatively unknown in the area before major research into the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Student Success Center, $14,035,000
The Bend campus of Oregon State University will use the funds to create a modern-version of a student union. Campus leaders see it as a place to meet, learn and seek services. Plans call for academic advising, career coaching, tutoring, counseling, a wellness center and space for students to hold group meetings or study. A state study shows the campus currently has just slightly more than 50 percent of the 28,000 square feet of “academic support space” it needs. The desire for a centerpiece of the new campus led students to levy an extra charge to their fees to finance an additional $5 million of spending on the facility.
Eastern Oregon University, La Grande
Inlow Hall, $18,520,000
The bonds will finance renovations that maintain the historic integrity of the first building on campus while giving the landmark a new life for future generations of students. The complete overhaul will improve entrances for better access for all students and safe exit in the event of an emergency. Modernized electrical and mechanical systems will allow more interior space for classrooms, hallways and offices. Hardware and software upgrades will allow classrooms to use 21st-century technology and enhance the experience of students who take part in distance learning. The Rural Engagement and Vitality Center will offer enhanced programs, while the renovated spaces will improve admissions, advising and student services.
University of Oregon, Eugene
University Hall (formerly Deady Hall), $58,245,000
One of Oregon’s rare sites on the National Register of Historic Places will be given a preservationist-driven overhaul that will include classrooms, offices and a theater. While retaining the look of the university’s longstanding place in Oregon history, the 7,000 students and 115 faculty members who use its classroom and offices will work and study in a safer, improved interior space. Building materials and electrical systems will be updated to meet current safety codes. Classrooms will be modernized and include computer workstations.
Western Oregon University, Monmouth
Student Success Center, $21,615,000
The existing Old Education Building would be demolished and the be replaced by a new facility to house student services. The center would offer modernized environments for advising, tutoring, support group activity, computer labs and study space.
Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls
Funds will build a new residence hall for 900 students, including sleeping and study space.