Park Blocks: Fall 2019
Author: Madison Schultz and Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: September 24, 2019

Unique stage presence

FOR THE sixth year in a row, the summer Pickathon music festival in Happy Valley, Oregon, featured a performance venue designed and built by School of Architecture students from reused materials. This year’s rendition of the Treeline Stage utilized 160 wooden apple-harvesting bins turned into “an orchard of towering trees”—reaching 40 feet high at the tallest point. The sprawling site design incorporated space for audio equipment, a backstage green room, and space for food vendors and seating. Immediately afterward, the stage was dismantled and the apple bins were returned to service just in time for the late summer apple harvest, leaving no waste.

Eyes on the market

REAL-TIME financial, economic and government information from around the world is available to business students and faculty in the new Bloomberg Finance Lab. The lab has 12 computers armed with the Bloomberg Terminal, an electronic ticker displaying live stock market data and monitors streaming Bloomberg Markets. Located on the second floor of the Karl Miller Center, home to The School of Business, the lab will initially be used as part of undergraduate and graduate finance curriculum. The privately held Bloomberg conglomerate is known worldwide for its financial data, software and news.

Time versus money

WHEN given the choice between donating time or money to a charitable cause, a recent PSU study found that most people prefer to donate time—even when a monetary donation would be a better value. Economics professor J. Forrest Williams says the positive feeling or “warm glow” of volunteering consistently beats out money. However, it was clear to Williams and his research colleagues that high wage earners could never work hard enough for a charity to equal their hourly pay—resulting in money donations making more sense. It’s unclear how charities should respond to the findings. They could be better off insisting on donations that pay for labor to replace volunteers, says Williams, but charities could lose potential donors influenced by the volunteer experience.

Old building made new

LIGHT now pours into the former Neuberger Hall, which reopens this fall under a new name following s $70 million renovation. The 61-year-old building had a reputation for being a stuffy, dark bunker. A light well cut through the center of the building, more and bigger windows and reconfigured spaces has turned it into a modern, efficient and much more appealing space. The remodel was funded through a $60 million commitment in state bonds leveraged by $10 million in philanthropic contributions. The two principal donors are alumnus Fariborz Maseeh ’80, MS ’84 and arts philanthropist Jordan Schnitzer. The building will be rededicated on September 26, and an art museum in Schnitzer’s name located in the building will open in November.

Helping TriMet gauge the winds

TRIMET has enlisted Portland State mechanical engineering students to help determine the effectiveness of 12 wind turbines that were installed at either end of the Tilikum Crossing bridge in the spring. The 4-foot-tall turbines, which can generate up to 1,000 watts of electricity per hour, illuminate lights on the devices themselves. Excess power is stored in batteries. The students will measure the actual power being generated and use that data to determine if turbines could be used in future transit projects. The bridge opened in September 2015 and is used by light rail, buses, cyclists and pedestrians.