New School of Business celebrates groundbreaking

This week Portland State celebrates breaking ground on its $60.3 million renovation of and north-end addition to the School of Business Administration building, located at the corner of Southwest Harrison and Broadway.

Though initial construction began over the summer, the university will host a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 15 where the new building’s name will be announced, followed by a reception and community mixer.

At an Oct. 9 press conference, PSU President Wim Wiewel said he thinks this is a fascinating project.

“As you can tell, the ground has already been broken, quite solidly,” Wiewel said. “I just stopped by there this afternoon. It’s really impressive.”

In a project update from March 2014, Senior Project Manager of Capital Projects Mark Fujii said planning included design concepts that would open the space to more light and create a tall, iconic structure for the university.

“We’ve interviewed nearly every faculty member in the [SBA], and many of the students both [graduate] and [undergraduate],” Fujii said in the project update.
“[W]e are very excited about the possibilities.”

The new building will use less than half the energy of the existing building, according to an Oct. 7 article released by SBA.

“This is very important for the university’s goal to be more sustainable,” the SBA article said. “This is possible in large part because the new addition will be passively cooled and ventilated.”

The updated building will house 21 classrooms, study spaces, conference rooms, outdoor terraces, eco-roofs, an atrium, concrete floors, sheer walls, large ceiling fans and strategic design to maximize daytime lighting.

The university acknowledged donations from Rick and Erika Miller, Portland-based philanthropists, as important factors in the making of the new SBA building. Rick Miller is an alum of the PSU Master of Business Administration program. Funding also comes from the State of Oregon’s Capital projects funding and other university donors. Building projects at PSU are not funded by tuition or fees, but from an entirely separate budget.

“The completed space will have a significant impact on the entire campus community, while making a demonstrable statement to the Portland business community that we are deeply committed to serving the city—that we are Portland’s Business School,” read the SBA press release.

Fujii said the project’s expected completion date is Nov. 30, 2016. “[J]ust in time for winter term,” he added.

The Groundbreaking Ceremony is Oct. 15, 3:30 p.m., at the School of Business Outdoor Courtyard, 631 SW Harrison St.

This story was updated Oct. 12, 2015.