University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson joined the presidents of Eastern Oregon University, the Oregon Institute of Technology, and Portland State University in requesting projects be added to the capital construction budget for the Oregon University System. The requested projects were all included in the Oregon State Board of Higher Education’s recommended funding list to the Governor.
The UO project included in the letter, the expansion and remodel of the UO Science Commons and Research Library, was identified in the Governor John Kitzhaber’s press release on his capital construction priorities for higher education as a further priority should the Legislature choose to allocate additional debt capacity. The new Science Commons and Research Library would significantly advance the quality of instruction, research, and opportunities for discovery available to UO students by adding more seating capacity, a new digital technology lab, connectivity to a global network of scientists, teaching spaces that would accommodate data-intensive disciplines and collaborative learning, and visualization capabilities to accelerate understanding of complex problems. In total, the project would remodel 30,000 gross square feet and expand the library by 3,500 gross square feet. The $8,375,000 in state-backed bonds for the project would be matched by private sources.
The project has been scheduled for a hearing in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Capital Construction on May 10.