The Register-Guard: University of Oregon moves forward with work on new Portland campus

by Matthew Thomas

January 16, 2023

By Miranda Cyr

The University of Oregon continues its preparation of the new Portland campus, working to house students, employees and state-of-the-art academic spaces.

UO Campus Planning & Facilities Management team has been assessing the new northeast Portland campus, which was the former Concordia University campus in Portland that UO purchased in June for $60.5 million, for months.

Now, the UO has selected architecture firms and a construction manager to oversee the design and renovation. In a meeting in early December, the UO Board of Trustees approved up to $10 million of funding toward planning, design work and procurement of equipment and materials for the campus.

“So many people from Eugene and Portland have been part of this incredible work to reimagine the campus to represent the best of UO Portland,” said Jane Gordon, vice president for Portland, in a news release. "Now we have partners to bring that transformation to life.” 

The firm Howard S. Wright will serve as the construction manager/general contractor. The company will work with the architectural firms to coordinate the construction. They will also oversee smaller-scale projects, such as IT infrastructure, site improvement, vine removal, interior painting and campus signage.

UO released a list of construction projects and corresponding architecture firms that will be working on them over the coming months and years:

  • The former Luther Hall will be a new building for sports, journalism, communications and the Oregon Reality Lab, designed by architect TVA Architects. To be opened in fall 2024.
  • The former Fine Arts Building will be a new building for architecture, designed by architect LEVER. To be opened in fall 2024.
  • The former Hagan Campus Center will be a new center for student services, dining and miscellaneous campus support, designed by architect Opsis Architecture. To be opened in fall 2023.
  • The former George R. White Library and Learning Center will be a new center for the Ballmer Institute, UO library and law, designed by architect SRG Partnership. To be opened fall 2023.

The building projects are currently going through the university naming process. The move to the new campus will take place over the next two academic years, according to a recent UO news release. The first groups of students and employees will transition this summer, while the rest will stay at the White Stag Block and Naito buildings in the Old Town neighborhood.

Different buildings will be opening up periodically, but all UO Portland programs will consolidate on the new campus during the 2024 academic year.

"We've got buildings that have really good bones, we have a campus that was well-loved," said Michael Harwood, associate vice president and university architect, during the trustees meeting Dec. 5. "(It's) not necessarily set up the way that we would like to use it for some of our programs, but I think it'll be a good fit."

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