(Portland, Ore.) July 8, 2013 — Portland State University is tripling the size of its School of Business Administration and turning the outdated Stott athletic center into a hub for educational, athletic and community events with the help of $64 million in state bonds.
The Oregon Legislature’s approval of $40 million for the School of Business Administration and $24 million for the Stott Educational Center and Viking Pavilion will transform two high-traffic areas of PSU’s downtown campus with more classrooms, auditoriums, study rooms, computer labs and a 5,500-seat arena. The two projects will add much-needed space to help meet the state’s goal for 40 percent of its residents to earn a bachelor’s degree.
“This is good news for our students, our partners and our community,” said PSU President Wim Wiewel. “The business school expansion will meet the academic needs of our students and provide exceptional employees for regional businesses. The Pavilion will add collaborative study space and double as a community and athletic event center. And both of these projects will create jobs. We are grateful to the Legislature and private donors for making them possible.”
These projects are part of $743.5 million in construction and capital projects approved by legislators for Oregon universities and community colleges. The state bonds are essential to a public-private funding plan for the two projects; PSU also is raising at least $20 million in private gifts for each project.
The School of Business Administration is the largest in Oregon. With these bonds, it is now at 88 percent of its $60 million total goal for the project. The University has raised more than $13.2 million in philanthropic gifts, including an anonymous $8 million gift from a local MBA alumnus. The project will triple the square footage of the business school and bring all of its programs under one roof for the first time. It is expected to break ground in January 2015.
“This is a strong vote of confidence for PSU's growing business school and Oregon's need for more of the graduates it produces,” said Rick Miller, MBA ’91, business school campaign co-chair and Avamere Group founder and chair.
“This recognition will help us leverage much needed private philanthropy for PSU at a time when it is sorely needed,” added Rob Miller, business school campaign co-chair and Trailblazer Foods president.
In just 15 months, private fundraising for the Stott Educational Center and Viking Pavilion project has surpassed $10 million, including $5 million from an anonymous donor and $1 million from Oregon Health & Science University.
The renovated building will transform the cramped and leaking Stott Center into a light-filled, mixed-use building with new academic and athletic spaces, as well as a mid-sized venue capable of hosting a variety of public events. Construction is expected to start in fall 2014.
"This is public and private partnership at its best,” said Peter Stott, chair of the Viking Pavilion building campaign. “Our community saw the importance of the project, the Legislature recognized it, and together we will meet the needs of our students and serve our community."
About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.