Community leaders, business leaders, and University of Oregon faculty and staff members gathered March 14 for a ground breaking ceremony for a new facility at the UO’s Riverfront Research Park. The $17 million, 80,000-square-foot building at 1700 Millrace Drive will be home to the Oregon Research Institute (ORI) and the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC). Both nonprofit organizations have strong ties to the UO. The Riverfront Research Park, located adjacent to campus, is a master-planned development that has been home to more than seventy companies or organizations.
Site work for the new ORI-EPIC headquarters building began in December. According to the project’s lead developer, 70 percent of all work on the project will be done by subcontractors from the Eugene area or the Willamette Valley. Construction will generate an estimated 70,000 hours of work.
Kimberly Andrews Espy, UO vice president for Research and Innovation and dean of the Graduate School, offered remarks on behalf of the university at the event. Citing the new facility as an example, Espy highlighted the importance of cooperation among business, government, and the community to the economic prosperity of the region. She talked further about the role that the UO’s technology transfer services plays in translating innovations from UO-affiliated centers like ORI and EPIC into societal and commercial applications. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, ORI researcher Carol Metzler, EPIC CEO David Conley, and Trammel Crow Company Director Steve Wells also offered remarks.
Local dignitaries, including City of Eugene staff members and representatives from the offices of Congressman Peter DeFazio and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, attended the event.