OSU board OKs $277 million in construction spending for seven projects
Oregon State University has received approval to move forward with nearly $227 million in projects in Bend and Corvallis.
The university's board of trustees during a meeting on Friday, Oct. 21, approved the money for seven projects that include the remodeling and renovation of existing buildings as well as new construction. The projects were all in the design phase before the approval.
Included in the list of projects is a $158.8 million renovation of Cordley Hall on the university's Corvallis campus. The 235,000-square-foot building, originally constructed in the late 1950s and early '60s, currently houses integrative biology, botany and plant pathology departments. The renovation work is planned in three phases. The university plans on providing $68 million for the project and is eyeing nearly $92 million in state support. The state already has authorized $15 in state bonding and $9.8 million in capital renewal funds. OSU plans to approach the Oregon Legislature for additional funding during the 2020 and 2021 sessions.
The university also will move ahead with a $50.2 million teaching and research building that will become the second structure to be constructed on the OSU-Cascades campus. When completed, the 50,000-square-foot building will contain classrooms, lab spaces and offices. Construction costs are being covered by $10 million in donations and contributions, $1.2 million from student fees, and $39 million from state bond funds, which have already been approved.
The 103,200-square-foot Research Way Laboratory, which OSU purchased in 2018 about two miles west of the university's main Corvallis campus, will undergo an $11 million renovation for future use as a research building.
Reconstruction also can now move forward on Burt Hall, which was damaged after a fire in December 2018. The $9.5 million cost for the project is expected to be covered by insurance.
Other projects on the approved list include a $6.5 million renovation of a portion of Cascade Hall to turn the space into offices for OSU's Department of Public Safety and a Navy ROTC Center, and a $26.5 million renovation of the Corvallis campus operations center at 35th Street and Western Boulevard
"We're not building for building's sake," OSU President Ed Ray said in a prepared statement. "The university is committed to advance student success, improve retention and graduation rates, and sustain a pace of more than $400 million annually in grant-funded research. We must renovate and improve aging classrooms and research facilities — and build new classrooms and research labs — to achieve the university's commitments to student learning, research innovation and problem solving."
During its Oct. 21 meeting, the board also received an update on OSU's preliminary priorities for the 2020 legislative session. Areas of focus include requesting and securing approval for state bonds to pay for construction of a student success center at the Bend campus and an Arts and Education Complex in Corvallis as well as for the second phase of the Cordley Hall renovation.
The university also plans on requesting funding or supporting bills for several efforts, including research associated with hemp and innovation districts.
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