The opening celebration of the much-anticipated LEED Certified CLSB (Collaborative Life Sciences Building) was held on June 26, 2014 in the South Waterfront in Portland. The CLSB is now home to OSU College of Pharmacy third year students, PSU introductory biology and chemistry classes, and OHSU medical, dental, physician assistant, and radiation technology students. This has been a transformative building project and as guests entered into the building’s central atrium it was obvious this building has succeeded in being a world-class facility for interdisciplinary research and learning. Joe Robertson, MD, MBA, President of OHSU spoke during the opening ceremony. “This building oozes collaboration and innovation.” He continued, “the people who study and work here will feel that collaboration and add it to the culture.”
Upon entering the central atrium, guests were greeted by the impressive artwork of light spiraling on the ceilings and ending at a skylight. This display of light, made of energy-efficient bulbs, fulfills the art requirement for a LEED certified building. Sharing the space with this light installation, are various walkways that connect different floors within the building, some walkways even invite you to sit on a comfortable chair or utilize a table. A view from all eastern and southern windows reveals the Willamette River and Portland’s newest bridge, Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, scheduled to open September 2015. Tilikum Crossing will accommodate only pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, streetcars, and the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail. Standing in the CLSB for the first time, it’s hard to tell if you’ve entered a contemporary art museum or an international airport, but we are pleased to call this building a, “world class concave for learning,” as Edward Ray PhD, President of OSU described it.
The day’s speakers also included: The Honorable Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland; President of PSU, Wim Wiewel, Ph.D; President & CEO, Willamette Dental, Dr. Eugene Skourtes, D.M.D.; President of MMGL Corp., Kennth Novack; and our very own Steve Lam, 2015 OSU/OHSU Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate. He said, “For me, this building stands as a symbol and reminder as to why I came into this profession . . . This state of the art building will be an important catalyst that drives us further towards impactful change in health care in Oregon.” Lam most likely shares the same feelings as other students who will study in the building. Kate Jensen, Master of Ceremonies for the event, and a 2014 PSU graduate in Health Sciences, entering the OHSU School of Nursing, described how she was honored to be able to study in a building that would prepare her for the “increasing global interdisciplinary world.” All the speeches carried a theme of collaboration, inter-education, inter-professionalism, and multi-disciplinary education. These themes were evident in the physical space of the CLSB as well.
There was sense of interconnectivity between the art installation and the architecture, between the walkways connecting different parts of the building, between the new bridge connecting Portland’s east and west sides, but the most prominent collaboration was made apparent by the decorations set up for the event that consisted of colorful fabrics representing each university: orange for OSU (Go Beavs), green for PSU, and blue for OHSU . The regal fabric decor hung, with their bold colors, from different corners of the building like streamers that came together in the center of the atrium to form a knot symbolizing the unique collaboration between these universities. “The Collaborative Life Sciences Building is a wonderful example of how well OSU, OHSU and PSU collaborate on behalf of Oregonians,” said Ray.
The College of Pharmacy has many new upgrades including, three 25-seat classrooms to accommodate smaller groups in the clinical practice labs and elective courses, a large theater-style 150-person lecture hall, state-of-the-art instructional and simulation facilities, and increased research space that will promote partnership with other researchers in the building, including researchers in the Knight Cancer Institute and the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine. “This new facility will have a major impact on the OSU College of Pharmacy’s program on the OHSU campus. It provides dedicated and expanded instructional space and room for additional faculty aimed at providing the best clinical training possible for future pharmacists,” said Ray.
View more pictures on the College of Pharmacy Facebook page.