The Portland State Viking Pavilion is now more than a banner and a promise. Groundbreaking and renovation has officially kicked off alongside the football team’s annual spring game.
The Vikings celebrated the groundbreaking ahead of their spring game last Saturday, with officials from both PSU and Oregon Health and Science University in attendance.
President Wim Wiewel introduced OHSU President Joseph Robertson to speak on the recent collaborations between the universities. Alumnus and contributor Peter Stott, Director of Athletics Mark Rountree and defensive back Xavier Coleman also spoke during the ceremony.
Breaking ground with OHSU support
The Viking Pavilion marks the second collaborative building between PSU and OHSU. Wiewel and Robertson both touted the success of the Collaborative Life Sciences Building; Robertson heralded the project as “doing everything and more than we anticipated.
“It’s a milestone in our evolutionary journey,” Robertson said of the Viking Pavilion project.
OHSU contributed $7.5 million to the nearly $50 million price tag of the renovation. Wiewel acknowledged OHSU’s support as instrumental, pointing out that Robertson stepped in to offer support as PSU administrators scrounged to get on top of the fundraising goal.
“[Robertson] just came through because he decided that this made sense for OHSU,” Wiewel said.
Wiewel and Stott also said the pavilion would benefit both the greater campus community and the Portland community at large. Wiewel said that the pavilion would play host to athletic events, lectures, concerts, convocations and other functions.
“It will not just be a building for athletics,” Wiewel said. “It will be a building for the whole campus, allowing study space, meeting space for students.”
Stott also asserted that the new facility will bring a sense of community to the PSU campus.
“This building will transform [PSU] and the community,” Stott said. “I think it will become the hub of the campus. It will help attract student athletes, and students in general. It will give them a place to call home on the campus.”
Stott joked that the project was not simply an effort to get a new basketball arena, arguing that he felt the site would foster higher retention rates, as well as stronger alumni ties, and thus, contributions.
“This will usher in a new era in athletics at [PSU],” Stott said.
Vikings offense punches through during spring game
Stott field was filled with fans and recruits eager to watch the PSU football annual spring game. The 2016 spring game comes on the heels of a 2015 season upset, when the Vikings finished with a 9–3 record and their first playoff appearance in 15 years. People turned out to observe how BarneyBall—a term used to describe the team’s recent success under Head Coach Bruce Barnum—would translate to the coming year.
In the first quarter, quarterback Alex Kuresa found receiver Josh Kraght for an early 15-yard touchdown against the first team defense.
The momentum of the second team defense carried into the second quarter. The first team defense pressed the first team offense, failing to reach the quarterback but not allowing many positive yards. Kuresa responded by completing a 53 yard pass to wide receiver Blair Cavanaugh to set up a Nate Tago touchdown run.
The first team offense kept moving, as Tago broke through the line for an 80-yard touchdown run early in the second half. This sparked things up for the Viking first team offense as Kuresa found Cavanaugh for a 40-yard gain, which led to a 22-yard field goal by Jonathan Gonzales.
“Kuresa is fun to watch,” Barnum said after the scrimmage.
With the spring game in the books, the Vikings head back to practice in preparation for fall camp before their season opener on Sept. 3 against Central Washington.