Portland State is looking to lease additional classroom space that would cost up to $2 million over five years because of construction projects on four buildings with classrooms. The university is seeking approval from the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to lease approximately 21,500 square feet of space from Harsch Investment Properties, LLC.
PSU seeks State Board approval for class space
Portland State is looking to lease additional classroom space that would cost up to $2 million over five years because of construction projects on four buildings with classrooms.
The university is seeking approval from the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to lease approximately 21,500 square feet of space from Harsch Investment Properties, LLC. The board will review the proposal and make their decision today.
The rented space will provide replacement classrooms for classes displaced from buildings under renovation over the next five years. The estimated rental rate would be $26,974 per month or $323,688 for 12 months.
The proposed location is at 1433 S.W. Sixth Ave., but the location is under negotiation according to Mark Gregory, the associate vice president for Strategic Planning, Partnerships and Technology. If the building were approved, it would provide eight to 10 classrooms and some temporary offices.
Capital construction projects on the Portland Center for Advanced Technology, Lincoln Hall, Science Building 2, and Shattuck Hall in the coming years will make many classrooms unavailable.
“We have to have space. There’s no question about that,” said Gregory.
The seismic retrofit of Shattuck Hall and the upcoming demolition of the PCAT building will be the first to make classroom replacement necessary, according to Gregory.
The Lincoln Hall retrofit and the Science Building II retrofit are both awaiting approval from the State Legislature as part of Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Capital Construction Budget.
“We are going to have real challenges getting classrooms,” Gregory said. “You’ve got to have class. That’s what we’re here to do.”
According to the proposal for the rental, the term of the lease would be five years with a chance to terminate after 36 months. Expenses other than the cost of the rental would include a $30,359 security deposit and $350,000 to convert the space to be suitable for use as classrooms, including putting up quick walls and setting up internet access.
The total cost for the first year is estimated at $704,047 but that amount would be cut in half for the following three years. The price is still being negotiated but should not stray too far from the estimate, according to Gregory.
According to Gregory, negotiations are going well and will likely be finished soon. If the board approves the proposal, some rooms may be available as soon as summer term, but will surely be available by fall term, he said.
Gregory said that the university will be getting a good deal if they rent from Harsch Investment Properties and that the proposed building will be a suitable space for classrooms.
The building is two blocks north of PSU and a short walk east.
“It’s an extra couple blocks walk-I don’t think it’s a big deal,” said Gregory, adding that moving classrooms is a reality of being part of a growing university.
PSU currently rents classrooms out of the Unitus building, a similar distance from the center of campus as the proposed site for new rentals.
Some students say they don’t like having to walk the distance.
“If he (the professor) goes one minute over, I’m late for Spanish,” said PSU student Gary Gray. “I’m kind of used to it now, but the first few weeks weren’t good.”
PSU student Mike Raffaele is taking his first class at PSU in the Unitus building and said the walk doesn’t bother him.
“I don’t mind, as long as it’s not raining,” Raffaele said.