State gives PSU $153 mil. for construction

After months of monetary uncertainty, three key buildings on campus at Portland State have received state funding for capital construction projects that are scheduled to begin this year.

After months of monetary uncertainty, three key buildings on campus at Portland State have received state funding for capital construction projects that are scheduled to begin this year.

Portland Center for Advanced Technology building

The total funding received from the Oregon State Legislature for building the new Academic and Student Recreation Center is $71 million. The decommissioning of the Portland Center for Advanced Technology building (PCAT) began on July 1 and is expected to continue through the month, according to campus design and planning manager Ernest Tipton.

Tipton, the project manager for the PCAT renovation project, said that general contractor Skanska will begin excavating hazardous materials on or around Aug. 1. Demolition is expected to start on Aug. 15, Tipton said. The new facilities will replace the currently existing PCAT building.

The new rec center facilities will include retail space on the first floor, similar to the design of the Broadway Housing Building, and will account for $7 million of the budget use. According to Tipton, $35 million of the budget will be used to develop the recreational center.

The Oregon University System Chancellor’s Office is leasing space on the fifth floor of the new building, which will use $3 million of the budget. The City of Portland is leasing half of the space on the fifth floor and some basement space for record archiving, Tipton said.

The remainder of the funds will be used to develop academic space, which Tipton said includes the Graduate School of Social Work that will occupy the entire sixth floor, an auditorium with an over 200 person capacity and at least six classrooms on the second floor.

Mark Gregory, associate vice president for strategic planning, partnerships and technology, said that the building will include six floors above ground and one basement level. He also said that the work is likely to span the next two years.

“We did well on the capital side of the budget for the next biennium,” Gregory said. “PCAT got the full implementation and the new building is going to house some superb changes for PSU.”

Science Building 2

Science Building 2, a building that houses the majority of the Science Department and PSU’s laboratory classrooms, is receiving $45 million in state funding. Nancy Grech, associate director of facilities and planning, said that $26.5 million is expected to be used for deferred maintenance work.

Deferred maintenance includes seismic updates, fire protection, electrical wiring and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning installations.

The planned seismic updates, which include drilling into the foundation at the basement level, will be the most invasive construction work to take place at the Science Building 2 site, according to Grech. She said that the building’s middle floors will be used as swing space during the seismic updates. Swing space is temporary office or classroom space.

Grech said that the schedule of construction is still being formulated, and that no project manager has yet been named. A public bid for a general contractor should be held before the end of the summer, said Grech.

Grech also said she will recommend a project manager to Robyn Pierce, director of facilities and planning, and Lindsay Desrochers, associate vice president of finance and administration. Pierce and Desrochers will then collaborate with Grech to determine the project manager, who Grech hopes to name within a few weeks.

“Basically, I interact with other staff that has oversight for this project, and we work together to find the best match,” Grech said. “I’ll be looking carefully at the candidates and name someone soon, because now that we have the funding, we gotta get moving.”

Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall, a mixed-use classroom and faculty office building, received $29 million in state funding for renovations and related construction. The majority of those funds will be used to carry out deferred maintenance operations, Grech said.

Grech said that the renovation work will include repairing the leaking roof, replacing air ducting and an update to the interior appearance.

“Lincoln Hall is filled with maintenance that is way overdue,” Grech said. “We haven’t had the funds to do the necessary work, but I’m excited now that we do have the money.”

Charlene Lindsay, of the facilities and planning office, is the capital construction manager for the Lincoln Hall renovation project. She said that the work is still in early planning stages and that actual construction would not begin until the summer of 2008, at the earliest.

“It’s a 160,000 square foot building and we need to find a place to put them,” Lindsay said. “And that’s fine and performing arts people, not just office space. There’s something like 50 pianos in the building that will need to be carefully removed, and I view that as the driver of when we can start.”