Over the planning phase of the new building, the working title for the building has been the Student Experience Center (SEC). Before that time gets carved into stone (literally), the planning and policy committee wants input from the community it there are other options. So be a part of history, give us your suggestions for a name of the new building and also a name for the covered plaza between the Memorial Union and the new building. The only rule is that it cannot be named after a person. Fill out the online form at mu.oregonstate.edu/name. Deadline is March 15th.
Archives for General Info
Within every project crucial decisions are made on a daily basis, a few
weeks ago one such consensus was reached concerning the International Resource
Center’s move into the SEC. Though the group was initially thought to be a part
of the building, it had changed gears and moved into MU 109 due to a lack of
This move has created an even stronger “Student Experience” in the
building, adding to the one stop resource for all information about various
groups, and social events. The IRC will provide a forum for both foreign and
native students to ask questions, get answers and even complete an occasional Skype
session with loved ones back home.
A decision of this caliber has implications, in this case consuming the
space that was previously being considered as retail. According to Robyn Jones,
Assistant Director of MU Retail Food Service, there were major motives for
terminating the move to the SEC; it is an expensive operation to move, there is
not a big enough population in the SEC to bring revenue, and there wasn’t a
direct door available. Increased revenue will also be sought via the renting of
the multipurpose room (comparable in size to rooms in Dixon) located above the
big “ballroom” and adjacent to Robyn Jones new restaurant.
However, everything about this decision is working out for the better, as
the food cart once considered for the SEC has moved to the glassy part of north
porch area inside of what is now the bookstore. This allows for the use of
direct exposer to the overhead canopy, a high activity area. Furthermore by
staying in the MU East Wing the food cart is able to use the hood from the
cultural kitchen below, thus being able to create more diverse, portable foods.
This decision has tied both buildings together with a stronger link than
previously anticipated by freeing up opportunities to be more diverse and
student focused. As Eric Alexander, Director of Student Leaders and Involvement
stated, “The building [SEC] feels more like the epicenter of student activity
and engagement; It’s not where everything happens(concerts, comedians, cultural
events) but it is how people plan, lead and make that work possible.”
SEC First Floor
SEC first floor conversation focused on the question of involving retail or not. The consulting firm of Brailsford and Dunlavey reviewed the building layout and campus data and presented the unlikeliness of a profitable retail operation in that location. However, this brings into play the possibility of a non-retail food operation which would provide easy access for catering events such as the various International Resource Center (IRC) coffee hours throughout the year.
With a change of layout comes accompanying decisions that will need to be made, one of which concerns the planned DJ booth. Though discussion was heavy concerning this issue it was decided that Julia Sandidge would consult with the Student Media advisory board to reach a decision.
As was discussed last week, it has been chosen that stair three will remain in its current location. LIkewise it was agreed upon that video screens would be implimented to allow the presence of otherwise apparently absent groups in the building (i.e. the Craft Center). This discussion revolved around two major ideas. One is the creation of a gaming center and the other is to have dedicated screens featuring live stream activities from the fourth floor Student Media and the basement Craft Center.
Starting July 11th, SEC planning meetings will have a new focus of working out details of individual spaces. These sessions will be made up small work groups rather then the curent larger groups that occupy the floor.
Memorial Union East Wing
Opsis presented three options for the arrangement of the mezzanine level of the east wing from which option three was selected for its larger multi-purpose room. Furthermore, there was discussion about the addition of a door from the planned storage space (current MU Building Services Office) onto the loading dock. This would require a large door allowing for easy movement of carts into and out of the space.
There are two new retail spaces planned in the east wing renovation. One will be a food option on the northeast porch. It would have an advantage in its ability to offer cooked food due to the feature of an exhaust system in the area from the location of the Cultural Meals Kitchen one floor below. The other retail space will be in the current mailbox center. Though different options will be discussed there is no movement on chosing just yet.
Next step for the east wing will be to set a schedule for working up more detailed plans and the creation of the scope of the contractors work in various Memorial Union projects.
The plan is to have the SEC be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified building. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, “LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.”
Opsis presented a spreadsheet of the LEED point system and where the building currently sits on the scale. A gold building would fall between 60-79 points. The current design gives the SEC an estimated 73 points. The MU East Wing renovation will also be designed to meet the LEED Gold standard, but will not go through the certification process to save money.
SEC Basement Craft Center
Opsis presented three options for the Craft Center to consider and option three was decided as the most workable. In this stairwell number three will stay in its original location. This provides a good approach to have a Craft Center lobby and entrance.
In the various plans for the Craft Center, how it is arranged affects the amount of building storage. In all options the general storage space is smaller than the amount building tenants have requested. In some it is about half of what is needed. Cost for constructing storage space is $35 per square food and cost of constructing Craft Center space is $400 per square foot.
Concerns were raised by the Craft Center related to the safety of restroom access at night. The current plan has the restroom entrance down a long hall out of sight of the Craft Center main desk and classroom view. The restroom entrance is also near a back stairwell that is accessible from the back side of the SEC and creates an easy opportunity for someone to sneak down into after dark. However, moving these restrooms is not possible due to costs; because of this other security opotions were discussed which highlighted the use of technology. Additionally, there were discussions centered around the need for ADA accessible workstations and sinks as well as something to create ease of accesss.
Next step for the Craft Center is to update the data spreadsheet on classroom needs and update the equipment spreadsheet.
On Wednesday, May 9th, Opsis Architects and Andersen Construction met with representatives from the Student Experience Center for regularly scheduled meeting. These meeting occur every other week on Wednesday and divided into different work sessions. This week Opsis and Andersen met with SEC Space Committee, The MU East Wing Committee, the Craft Center (basement level of the SEC) and Student Media (fourth floor of the SEC). Here are notes for those meetings.
Student Experience Center
SEC Meeting on May ninth focused on floors one through three of the Student Experience Center. Opsis architects and Anderson engineers spent last week mulling over value engineering studies which were reviewed and discussed, revealing the withdrawal of one of two large ventilation shafts.
As representatives worked through the building, each level was assessed for necessary changes. To start, ground floor discussion centered on the relocation of the kitchenette. However, the second floor revolved around the creation of a lactation room, addition of space for Diversity Development, and the reorganization of office areas in the Center for Civic Engagement. Lastly, third floor conversation featured major changes in spatial needs warranting complete reorganization. This may mean the addition of a special session between Opsis and SEC-SAPC constituents assigned to that floor.
Finally, an accessibility workshop scheduled for May 23rd at 3pm in Memorial Union 208 will house discussion on various ADA issues in the both the main and amphitheater style stairways.
MU East Wing Renovation
Contractors, architects, and various renovation committees met on May ninth to discuss a menu of twenty-five distinct alternatives for building layout and design. Each choice differed in allotment of square footage, tenant placement, and appropriated budget amounts.
As of recent, consensus is being reached on quite a few projects including but not limited to the renovation of the MU Ballroom ground floor bathrooms, addition of a new stair to ground floor, ramping revisions, replacement of the existing basement AHU, and an ADA lift at the Ballroom stage.
Furthermore, with a huge loss of revenue following the relocation of the bookstore, a goal has been set from the standpoint of all work groups to generate income, something that cannot be done without four revenue building businesses. With this in mind, if projects that are on the table require additional funding, they can be justified by their generation of future funds.
Craft Center (Basement Level of SEC)
The inherit conflict in last week’s meeting between Opsis and Craft Center representatives was the withdrawal of the main stairway from the fourth floor. Not only does this change the layout by adding a significant amount of lobby space but also eliminates the Craft Centers presence from upper floors.
Over the next few weeks all parties involved will mull over this obstacle, as well as project design and layout, i.e. woodshop, ventilation entities, trap drains, and hose bibs. Once the list has been back checked and corrections made to the schematic design, reconfiguration can commence.
Student Media (Fourth Floor of the SEC)
Much of the meeting between head architects of Opsis and Student Media representatives on May 9th was allocated to the reorganization of office and storage space in an attempt to create better work flow.
Also concerns were expressed about sound transfer by way of window and wall design. Representatives were quick to remind both architects and engineers of the need for floating floors in both radio and recording studios in an effort to limit sound vibration throughout the remainder of the building.
As of recent, architectural drawings include a roof antenna modeled after the current one on Snell Hall, and the possible addition of a microwave dish. However, before continuing to the historic review commission, Opsis and Anderson will spend time reviewing and incorporating the changes requested on the ninth.
On Wednesday, April 25th, Opsis Architecture, Andersen Construction and OSU Construction Management meet with Student Experience Center and Memorial Union East Wing renovation committees. The focus was restarting the planning process after a break of a little more than year. Below are notes from the three group meetings. These meetings will reoccur every other week into June.
Student Experience Center
Last week marked a crucial point in design development as meetings between architects and various project committees commenced. Current effort is focused on both budget and the re-orientation of project understanding and adaptability which was stunted earlier last year during the design/programming phase. Fortunately decisions that need to be made concerning the Student Experience Center budget doesn’t appear to be impacting floor plans or square footage, but have more to do with materials, structure, furnishings, finishing, etc.
Each floor plan was reviewed for any significant changes that may have procured over the six month break, which revealed two obvious adjustments in building layout. The HSRC will no longer be located in the facility and questions have been surfaced concerning whether the mediation room will be a tenant of the SEC or MU. With that in mind, decisions about the vacant space left behind by the HSRC and determination about the mediation room location will be at the forefront of Space Allocation Committee conversations over the next two weeks.
James Meyer, Head Project Architect from Opsis provided the committee with a tentative timeline revealing the upcoming campus planning committee at the end of June and Historic Review Commission soon after. Construction is projected to begin in the fall with the intention of a January 16th 2015 completion date.
For the next two weeks, the committee will concentrate on further examination of layout and the “Detailed Project Program” book. Questions, concerns, and alterations will need to be communicated as soon as possible in order to revise assumptions on current spatial needs and desires.
MU East Wing Renovation
On April 25th, the MU East Wing Committee and Architects from Opsis assembled to discuss the most difficult yet pertinent issue in any construction project, the budget. With legislature permitting a maximum amount of $9,177,500 for the project and ACCO projected costs amounting to $14,733,588, drastic cuts are warranted.
Due to its smaller renovation, the Memorial Union has a much more challenging delta than the Student Experience Center. A refresher in site/building analysis opened up discussion of possible changes in programming and schematic designs that could alleviate financial pressure. These consisted of tenant locations, as well as overall facility furnishing, engineering, and floor plan. The reorientation of project details is significant in that it affects both the large concern, being the Historical Review, and small yet noteworthy points such as duct work and ceiling consistencies.
Discussion on the construction of the second Ballroom was long-lasting as ideas flowed concerning space partitioning, external features and acoustical criteria. The thought behind this, and all other aspects of the renovation, is to include the least amount of things possible in an attempt to avoid future manipulations and increase room flexibility.
Another important aspect of the MU renovation is the accessibility and connectivity of the facility. With the addition of new stairs to increase pedestrian flow as well as a mezzanine level exit, elevator, and expanded Jefferson street entrance, the renovated east wing is planned to be one of the most user-friendly places on campus.
Over the next few weeks, it will be the primary priority of the Mu East Wing Committee to examine every aspect of the renovation project and find what can be cut out or done in a different way. The meeting on Wednesday wasn’t meant for decision making but instead the brainstorming of possible modifications. Finding 30-40% of the budget is quite the job but as James Meyers, Head Architect of Opsis said, “It’s a big number, which just means we need big ideas about what to do.”
Student Media Center (SEC 4th Floor)
A Meeting on April 25th between Student Media and architects from Opsis examined priorities for construction progress over the next couple of weeks. On Wednesday, primary attention was spent on scope perception and the understanding of technology deliverance and appliance. At this time, input is exceedingly valuable, where as in six months it will be more difficult to incorporate into the project.
Discrepancies in the rough floor plan and schematic final were revealed, illuminating a need for the review and resolution of layout desires. Current plans feature an open space with areas of privacy for ad sales and confidential conversations.
As of today, time is being taken to further discuss the details, and a document is being drawn up of adjacencies and so forth. Over the next two weeks project leaders will work to confirm that the most recent spreadsheet is correct while architects look over discrepancies and create images of open and private offices.
Twelve years after the Daily Barometer’s front page feature of Snell Hall’s imminent replacement, development has begun. Since obtaining legislative approval in March, strides have been taken towards the relocation of student programs to the Student Experience Center (SEC) from their former home in the structurally unstable Snell Hall.
The SEC will be home to an assortment of student organizations all differing in cause yet founded in the same illustrious groundwork of student leadership, engagement, and involvement. One of the many groups directing this endeavor is the SEC-Center Space Allocation and Policy Committee (SAPC), which met on April fifth to discuss their continued obligation to space design, occupancy planning and architectural collaboration.
As specified in the meeting by Eric Alexander, Co-Chair and Director of Student Leadership and Involvement, “It’s easy to come to a table and represent yourself. However, when we come into this room we need to start by thinking of community first.” As challenging as it may appear, the SEC-SAPC performs nothing short of altruistic, as exhibited by the immense amount of importance placed on community when discussing the creation of a universal design that welcomes every student.
The SEC building project is multifaceted, drawing in input from not only the SEC-SAPC, but also the Construction Committee, Student Fee Impact, and MU East Wing Committee. Current conversations are centered on the creation of an accessible building that is sustainable in both structure and design yet aesthetically pleasing. As of now, being that all tenants have been chosen for the move to the new building, attention is also being spent on reviewing the existing scheme of the project, which currently amounts to 125 percent over budget. In addition to the progress being made on the Student Experience Center, further decisions have to be reached considering the renovation of the Memorial Union East Wing. Numerous spaces are being relinquished as programs leave for the SEC, granting the MU East Wing Committee primary responsibility over making recommendations on vacancies and properly housing all programs formerly located in Snell Hall.
Originally, the plan was to remodel the MU east wing after completion of the SEC. However changes in the financing system for Oregon Higher Education have generated the possibility of constructing both projects at once, meaning not only a conservation of funds but less disruption to campus. The core purpose of the MU east wing remodel is the formation of a second event area, similar to that of the MU ballroom, allowing more students the ability to reserve space. It will not only be a larger and more functional replacement for the International Forum located in Snell Hall, but will also house the Cultural Meal kitchen, ISOSU/IRC programs, veteran services, and new retail space to generate revenue in an attempt to keep student fees low.
These are projects for the students, by the students as exhibited by the 2:1 ratio of student to faculty on the SEC-SAPC. You have invested in the funding of this project, and in so deserve to be kept up to date on all design activity and choices. Information and updates on the project will be continually posted to this blog, as well as open meeting times and locations.
Things change rapidly. The goal is to construct a building for the future by thinking in generalities and with the coming years in mind. As Jennifer Creighton-Neiwert of the AABC said, “It’s not where the building is today, it’s where it will be 100 years from now.”
The OSU Daily Barometer provides an update on the process of approval in the current Oregon Legislative session. If you missed it, you can read it here: SEC currently waiting for state approval.
As the Oregon Legislature begins its month long session this week, one of the items before it is the approval for OSU to sell bond for purposed building projects, including the student backed “Student Experience Center” to replace the structurally unsound Snell Hall. Building funds have already been approved; the Legislature just needs to approve the sale of bonds to begin construction.
The Corvallis Gazette Times had an article yesterday explaining the process. You can read it at this link.
On Friday, November 18th, OSU Student Leaders accompaned President Ray to the Oregon Legislature. They were there to appeal to the Legislature in favor of the new Student Experience Center (the Snell Hall replacement) and for renovations need to the 85 year old Memorial Union. You can read more about the visit to Salem in this Daily Barometer article.
Yesterday, October 13th, President Ray gave his annual “State of the University” address. In it he made reference to the status for the Student Experience Center (SEC) along with other building projects on campus.
Let me turn now to our collective “to-do” list, which begins with pursuing initiatives that were not addressed in the recent legislative session. As noted earlier we succeeded in securing state lottery bond funds to complete funding for the new Austin Hall for our College of Business. Our Cascades campus, with financial support from the Legislature, hopes to purchase a building in downtown Bend to provide an immediate home for graduate programs and space for growth of the Cascades Campus for the next few years.
President Ray goes on to say:
However, we also sought approval for three capital projects that require no state dollars, and we were unsuccessful. One request was for XI-F bonds to build the new Student Experience Center, for which students voted to increase their own Student Incidental Fees in May 2010. The second project request was for XI-F bonds for an all-purpose instructional building, with the debt service funded by growth in tuition dollars from expanding out-of-state and international student enrollments. That proposal had the support of the ASOSU leadership. However, the proposed source of funding for the new classroom building has never been presented to the Legislature before. Our third project is a new residence hall, which is badly needed to keep up with the growing housing demand by students. We will go back to the Legislature in February and present our case more clearly and effectively.
You can see the full text of his speech online.
In late June, legislators didn’t include the Student Experience Center in a bill approving bonds for capital construction in the Oregon University System. And since then, planning and construction for the new building has been put on hold until the legislature reconvenes in February.
The failure to get bond approval for a project that would have been paid with other revenue streams instead of tax dollars is highly unusual. The legislature also failed to include three other Oregon State University projects in the capital construction bill: a residence hall, a classroom building and an athletic performance center.
Because the bond was not approved, students will not pay an extra $48 per term in student fees this year to fund construction of the building.
The architect and construction company have both been put on hold with the project. New rates will be decided once the bond is approved by the legislature.
“It’s a waiting game at this point. We can’t do a whole lot until the bond passes,” said Michael Henthorne, director of the Memorial Union.
It is still unclear why the bond did not pass during the last legislative session. Capital projects at all universities came under higher scrutiny this legislative session, and many others, including several at the University of Oregon, were not approved by the house ways and means committee. Many have cited legislators concerns about incurring too much debt with bond issuance and a lack of preparation when presenting proposals.
However, OSU officials are ready to make sure that the SEC and other capital projects are approved by the legislature in the coming session in February.
“We have a team of individuals working on compiling a detailed document about the SEC for the next Legislative session,” Jennifer Creighton-Neiwert, financing and accounting manager at the auxiliaries and activities business center, wrote in an e-mail.
Jock Mills, director of government relations for OSU, said while the university hasn’t begun to work directly with legislators, who are out of session, preparations have begun.
“We’re going to start the conversation in October for the SEC and other capital projects,” said Mills, “Getting the four capital projects is the most important priority for OSU in the upcoming legislative session.
Reprint from Daily Barometer, September 19, 2011
Don Iler, managing editor 737-2232 email@example.com
Check out the Daily Barometer’s article on the SEC: “Student Experience Center fails to gain legislative approval: It gives a good background on the postponement of the construction of the SEC. You can find it online at the dailybarometer.com.
The Oregon Legislature needed to approve of the SEC/MU project to give OUS the authorization to proceed with bond sales and therefore the construction. For the past several weeks, we have been answering questions about the project, as legislative members on the House Ways and Means Capital Construction Committee raised them with OSU officials. I regret to inform you that the committee failed to include the SEC/MU project in HB5006. This will cause us a significant delay that will postpone the completion of our Design Development Phase scheduled to begin in July for an undetermined number of months and also delay construction completion beyond our desired summer of 2013. The failure to approve of a non-State funded construction project is unusual. I cannot recall a similar situation in my twenty-five years, but there’s a first time for everything.
The delay has many complicating side effects that we are still trying to measure. The most important message that I can give you now is that we will not give up pursuing what the students of the institution have legitimately approved through their vote. We have followed every procedural expectation over the five-year path to get to this point. Likewise, we must also learn to adjust our planning with this delay…no matter how much we each may feel the disappointment or dislike the effects. Today will feel insignificant when we compare it to the elation of stepping into these new program homes for the first time or the benefits that will come from the collaborations and improved resources for highly valued student experiences
Michael Henthorne, Director OSU Memorial Union
The Student Experience Center (SEC) architectural design review will be taking place next Thursday. Opsis Architecture will bring the latest drawings of the new Student Experience Center and be available to answer questions.
Thursday, June 2
Noon to 1:30 PM
Memorial Union Trysting Tree Lounge
Accommodations for disabilities may be made by calling 541-737-2416
From today’s Daily Barometer by Kate Montgomery (Issue date: 4/11/11 Section: News):
The accelerated timeline proposed by administration last term is reconsidered
After exploring an accelerated timeline for construction of the Student Experience Center and remodeling of the Memorial Union, Oregon State University administration has decided to stick with the first, slower schedule.
This reconsideration was largely due to the fact that the accelerated timeline would have caused a revenue loss of $17.99 million for the students of OSU. The SEC will also be larger and house more programs than previously thought.
The Student Fee Impact committee sent a letter in early March to OSU administration asking for an open dialogue and explaining the financial effects of a new timeline.
One of those effects would be less time for the University to sell bonds, leading to a loss of initial construction funds. The OSU Bookstore would also have to move earlier than planned, causing a revenue loss by the rent that they pay the MU. Lastly, the accelerated timeline also would have required simultaneous construction projects.
Alexandra Leziy-Miller, a first year student in the MBA program and member of the Student Fee Impact Committee, said that it was the difference between “…three projects in five years with different starting dates to just two different projects.”
The third project she was referring to was the possible remodeling of the low-rise portion of Snell.
All told, the SFIC estimated that a $17.99 million dollar loss of revenue would result from the faster schedule.
While the students are ultimately paying to have the building built, the bulk of the initial funding is generated by OSU selling bonds. The university will start selling bonds by the fall term of 2011, and will have to begin paying them back starting summer of 2012.
The bonds will be paid back through a $48 per term per student fee, according to Jennifer Creighton-Neiwert, the Finance and Accounting Manager for the Auxiliaries and Activities Business Center, and Co-Chair of the SFIC.
“No matter what (plans change), that $48 per student per term will not change. If it changed, we’d have to go through a whole new referendum and get it approved by the students,” Creighton-Neiwert said.
Opsis Architecture is currently due to start “breaking ground in early 2012 and finishing by June 2013,” according to Eric Alexander, Director of Student Leadership and Involvement.
After the financial issue, the second-most challenging aspect of this project is the plans for Snell Hall. Originally, and in the accelerated timeline, Snell Hall would have been gradually closed so that only the low-rise portion to the West would be in use. That area was to be kept for student activities and programs, such as the Craft Center. Now the building is to be completely vacated.
There are rumors that the plans for closing Snell were because it was unsafe, but that may not be true according to Larrie Easterly, the University Engineer Manager.
“Snell Hall is not unsafe; it has merely outlived its usefulness,” Easterly said. “At some point it, will be demolished, but that’s not in the immediate future.”
Accordingly to Easterly, the area that Snell occupies may become another classroom building, which is necessary due to the ever-increasing enrollment at OSU.
It is also important to note that the possible plans for Snell do not come under the jurisdiction of the SEC project, according to Michael Henthorne, director of the MU.
“Our project (the SEC) is not responsible for the demolition of Snell,” Henthorne said.
Another one of the common questions in regards to the SEC and Snell is, where will everyone go? Most of the programs that were based in Snell are being moved to the SEC, as was always the plan.
Originally, however, several important programs were being left out, including the Food Pantry, Craft Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services.
“The Craft Center and Food Pantry have always had a home (either in the SEC or in the renovated East Wing of the MU), it was just unsure as to which location they would land,” Leziy-Miller said. “As of now, they are both in the SEC.”
However, CAPS, a critical resource by any standard, is still homeless.
Though the OSU Bookstore has not announced a decision for sure, it is in negotiations to leave the MU before its lease is up in 2014. It is deemed likely that it will want to move into the parking garage on SW 26th Street.
Some may be wondering what this building will actually look like. The reason there is no floor plan as of yet is due to the rigorous qualification process that must be gone through when trying to build a new building in a federally sanctified Historic District, as OSU is.
The qualifications are “things like brick walls, and only concern the outside of the building,” according to Easterly. Several plans are being run through a committee whose specific purpose is to enforce the Historic District guidelines.
Once three mock-ups have made it through that committee, Opsis Architecture will formally submit the possibilities to OSU.
Henthorne has stated that his intention is to hold a “public design session” in which the students will have a large say. The date, time and manner in which this session will be held have not been set.
Though many aspects of the plans surrounding the SEC have changed many times, the purpose of the project remains the same: to build a resource that will improve the experiences of students here at OSU.
Kate Montgomery, staff writer
The Corvallis Gazette-Times published a feature article about the new “Student Experience Center” (SEC) today. Here is the text of the article.
OSU student center design takes shape
By Gail Cole, Gazette-Times | Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 3:00 am
Plans are flying for the Student Experience Center — Oregon State University’s new student activities building — a space that will house the student-run organizations now in Snell Hall.
During winter term, the 14-member space allocation and policy committee worked with Washington, D.C.-based consulting group Brailsford & Dunlavey to put together a space planning report for the contracted Portland-based Opsis Architecture.
Next, Opsis will put together three schematics of the different design options, and planners will allow both the student organizations and the campus at large to have a say on what parts of the mockups should be put together to create the new building. Rather than holding a referendum, a public design session will be held in the MU this spring.
“It’s more of an informal process but still very public,” said MU director Michael Henthorne.
The project’s remaining subcommittees will look at the building’s construction, student fee impact and the renovation of the MU’s east wing.
Sited for construction in the OSU Bookstore parking lot, the planned 64,000 square foot building is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013. Planners hope to design the building to meet energy gold standards set by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria.
The Student Experience Center project includes a renovation of the MU’s east wing, where the OSU Bookstore is located, to turn the wing’s two floors into a multipurpose ballroom. Construction is set to begin once the new building is completed.
The OSU Bookstore’s lease of the east wing of the MU is up June 2014. Although they have not submitted a proposal to build a space on the first floor of the Parking Structure, located at Southwest 26th Street and Washington Way, Henthorne doesn’t think they are looking to move anywhere else but this space.
Students passed a referendum in May that approved a student fee increase to fund the new building. Beginning 2011, students will pay $48 a term to fund the building project. Students taking summer classes will pay a $36 fee.
State legislature bonds will fund the project, and planners hope to remain under $53 million for the new building and MU renovation projects; student fees will repay the bonds. The new building is funded by a 30-year bond and the MU east wing renovation is funded by a 20-year bond.
The new building will replace the seismically unsafe Snell Hall, also known as MU East. With the exception of Counseling and Psychological Services, the student fee-funded organizations currently housed in Snell will be moved to either the new building or the Memorial Union.
A CAP, now located on the fifth floor of Snell, and does not have a space where it plans to move.
Henthorne said Snell Hall will not be demolished until the student organizations have moved into either the new building or elsewhere on campus.
Contact Gazette-Times higher education reporter Gail Cole at 541-758-9510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest minutes from the SEC consultants have been posted. You can find them, along with past minutes by clicking on the “Consulting Firm’s Minutes” tab at the top of the homepage. These minutes include conversations about the Craft Center, Our Little Village, HSRC, Food Pantry, Safe Ride, Student Media and more. Quick Link
This Wednesday, February 23rd, Brailsford and Dunlavey will be back on the OSU campus. Brailsford & Dunlavey are consultants hired by the university to help in the planning of the new Student Experience Center (SEC) that will begin construction next year.
They will hold two open sessions on Wednesday. From 3 to 4 PM in MU 207 they will be a drop-in opportunity for any SEC stakeholder. Stakeholders are group that will be in the building or have a close relationship to the groups in the new building.
The agenda includes:
Review updated SEC program
Discuss adjacencies, preliminary blocking and stacking
Review Draft Program Document
From 4 to 5:30 will be the review open forum, which is open to everyone. This will be held in MU 208.
The agenda includes:
Present conceptual stacking options – 3D
Review updated SEC program
Discuss adjacencies, preliminary blocking and stacking
Review Draft Program Document
Review spaces within the MU
You can down load the day’s full agenda here:
How many of you saw the movie “Field of Dreams”? Remember the in end of the film when James Earl Jones’ character gets invited into the cornfield where the baseball players go? Into the Great Unforeseen? Remember how he first sticks a hand into the corn, feeling the leaves, then quickly withdraws it, giggling nervously? Then, he walks bravely into his future while the camera does a cutaway back to the present.
That’s where we are, Right Now. Our design efforts have been like a whole covey of James Earl Jones characters reaching into that cornfield, grasping onto nothing, giggling, nervously, waiting for answers to our questions about where we’ll end up and what we’ll do and who’ll be in there and who won’t.
What? Why is that?
The answer is that we have not completed Step One yet. So, at present, we find ourselves still standing on the edge of that cornfield, peering in, while waiting for whatever comes next.
What exactly does come next?
Remember, we are James Earl Jones here. We have to let the ballplayers guide us into the future. We have to finish gathering and providing information to the architect team so they can begin converting that information into sizes and shapes in space. That conversion process then comes back to us to review, suggest, change and finally ensure it is accurate enough to complete Step One, which is when we begin to discover the size, shape and layout of the building. Then, having completely entered that cornfield, that Great Unknown, we will be able to see what our efforts have gained us in vision and certainty.
Then what, you might ask?
Step Two is further investment into the process of making the form of the building take shape. We team up with the ballplayers (B&D), and stride further into the cornfield, hoping to determine whether all that initial fear and nervousness was warranted when the corn leaves first tickled our forearms and we felt alone, nervous and uncertain.
What exactly are we doing here?
We are participating in that age-old phrase, “Form Follows Function”. We are making the building take form. Together with B&D (the ballplayers), we are giving the building its shape as we work the information collection process and meet to discuss and verify our collective vision.
This is how that is done for every building, though most efforts don’t attract quite this size of a stakeholder crowd. So our work is like baseball in another sense: there we stand in right field. The other stakeholders are in their positions in the infield, in center field, behind home plate: chewing gum, squinting into the sun, waiting for the windup to begin…the sun is warm, a bee is grazing nearby clover, the sky is so blue it hurts your eyes to look at it (Moonlight Graham, right, Julia?)…then – CRACK! A LINE DRIVE COMING YOUR WAY! It’s your turn to make a decision! What do you say?
If you want a building to learn how to be, you have to pay its tuition in making decisions. This small piece of writing is like that. Why did I pick the cornfield? I needed a symbol to convey the utter powerlessness we have to control the future. The future is unknown to us. Or as one of my favorite authors put it:
“The future is no more controllable than it is predictable. The only reliable attitude to take towards the future is that it is profoundly, structurally unavoidably perverse. The rest of the iron rule is: whatever you are ready for, doesn’t happen; whatever you are unready for, does.” -Stewart Brand
So this exercise we are engaged in is the first step towards identifying our future. All we know for certain now is 4 walls and a roof. The rest comes one step at a time.
SEC Review Open Forum: Drop in review of the first draft of overall program of spaces, challenges remaining, programs that fit and don’t fit in the new Student Experience Center. We are seeking you opinions and consensus on direction. Wednesday, February 2nd, 3 to 4 PM in MU 207. The session will be lead by Brailsford & Dunlavey. After Wednesday, the next visit from Brailsford & Dunlavey will be February 15th & 16th.
Something that has existed at OSU for more than forty years is ending…and it’s a very good thing in my opinion. The era of campus student program separation on campus is coming to a close and a new unified location for campus programs to share is on its way. If you know OSU history, then you might be aware that in the 1970’s a very difficult decision about space for student union/student activity functions at OSU was reached. It essentially moved all student activity, student government and student media programs out of the Memorial Union and down the hill to a renovated building that was purchased from Housing. That building was known as Snell Hall. It picked up the name “MU East” after the renovation. People have been confused about its identity ever since.
If you ask people at OSU who’ve been around these programs for many years, you are likely to hear both positive and negative effects of separating these out-of-class functions and activities into two locations. From my perspective, the negatives of the separation far out-weigh the positives. With the funding of the SEC construction and the funding of the MU’s East Wing renovation, we now are coming much closer to having a unified site for OSU’s various student funded and student run programs, once again.
Looking around the country, the number of student unions with integrated student activity organizations sharing the union, far out-number those who’ve chosen to put these entities in two or more separate sites. Co-location provides for a sense of student program presence, vitality and active engagement that is far more difficult when locating separately. Students looking to become involved in programs can find program headquarters more easily and collaboration between program units and service units increases.
A shared union site for all programs will bring loads of new opportunities, but it will also require us to serve and think about our roles in very different ways than we’ve been taught to think by living a block apart. To be clear, the complex will be home to many organizations that are co-located, but are not part of a single reporting structure. As we move forward with the programming phase of the construction projects by deciding what goes where, we have an opportunity to think very strategically about how co-location asks that programs complement each other, not compete. This project gives us the opportunity to think about the entire SEC/MU site as a single structure linked by a phenomenal new outdoor covered space that can be used for hundreds of new programs per year. The results of the construction and renovation will bring to OSU students and campus programs new possibilities that we have never dreamed of previously. We are excited to be fully engaged with students at-large and student leaders as we create this amazing new facility complex. We ask that you bring us your ideas and share your perspectives. This is our chance to create something that has been missing from our campus for over forty years….a unified union and campus activity headquarters.
On Tuesday, January 18th and Wednesday January 19th, space planning consultants Brailford & Dunlavey held conversations with stakeholders and committee members of the Student Experience Center (SEC) and Memorial Union (MU). The groups were asked questions about their services, programs and how they interact with the student body. The stakeholders that were interviewed in this round of conversations were:
ASOSU Legal Services
Childcare & Family Resources
Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS)
Human Services Resource Center (HSRC)
International Students of OSU/International Resource Center
MU Building Services
MU East Wing Committee
MU Event Services
MU Marketing, Assessment & Graphics Studio
Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI)
Student Media: Daily Barometer, KBVR FM, KBVR TV
Student Sustainability Initiative
The Space Allocation and Policy Committee is currently taking request for space for new space, programs or organizations. The deadline is Wednesday, January 26th at noon. You can find the application at: blogs.oregonstate.edu/sec, click of the “FORM: Space Request” tab at the top of the site.
The construction timeline for the Student Experience Center (SEC) is tied to move of the OSU Bookstore. There is a great article in the Barometer on Thursday, January 13 about how this process is going. Here is a link to the story titled “Bookstore searches for new campus location”.
The Daily Barometer has done an excellent job of keeping the student population informed about the condition of Shell Hall, which houses many student services and programs. They have followed the process of student leaders looking at different solutions up to the current plan to replace Snell Hall with the SEC. You can see an archive of Barometer stories related to this topic by going to the tap at the top of this site titled “Barometer Articles”. It starts in May of 2003 and goes up to the present.
Here are some images from the Student Experience Center (SEC) informational gathering last week.
Milika “Tonga” Hopoi, (ASOSU Executive Director of Diversity Programs and MU Board member) talking with Larrie Easterly (OSU Campus Planning & Development), Eric Alexander (Director of Student Leadership and Involvement and SEC Space Allocation Co-Chair) and Julia Sandidge (Director of Student Media)
On Tuesday evening, January 4th, the planning processes for the Student Experience Center (SEC) began it first phase. Management of the planning process will be supported by three consulting teams
OSU Campus Planning & Development
(Larrie Easterly, Project Manager)
Brailsford & Dunlavey
You can see the process sequence and timeline at the Planning Process tab at the home page of this site.
Andersen Construction of Portland has been selected to construct the Student Experience Center (SEC). They have a lot of experience working on the OSU campus, most recently their projects have included:
Linus Pauling Science Center
OSU Energy Center
Arnold Dining Hall Renovation
They feel that the keys to the success of the SEC project include:
Empowered on-site team
Advocate for students
Keep OSU “open for business”
Deliver GMP that meets OSU’s expectations
Meet OSU’s timetables
Bring an earth friendly, sustainable project
Proactive to City’s requirements & concerns
One of the Andersen team for this project is Hayley Brown, who graduated from the OSU in Construction Engineering Management program last June. Part of Hayley’s duties will be to work with student groups, advocate for students and lines of communication between OSU students and Andersen Construction. Here is their website.
Eleven architectural firms from across the United States submitted proposals for designing the new student campus building, the Student Experience Center (SEC) and related Memorial Union remodel. The group was narrowed down to five firms that were invited campus to present to the committee of student leaders and staff. The firm chosen was OPSIS Architecture of Portland, Oregon. OPSIS Architecture is committed to design excellence, sustainable practices, and working in an open environment where shared ideas lead to collaborative vision-making. We seek out the potential within each project to create architecture that is both innovative and enduring and is distinguished by its specific response to context, program, and culture. We emphasize a commitment to inclusive design, place making, environmental sensitivity, and craftsmanship.
Their consulting partners in this project are:
Interior Design: OPSIS Design, Portland Oregon
Historical Preservation: Peter Meijer Architect, PC, Portland Oregon
Higher Education Consultant: Brailsford & Dunlavey, Washington DC
Technology Consultant: Sparling, Portland Oregon
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: PAE Consulting Engineers, Portland Oregon
Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers, Portland OR
Civil Engineer: Balzhiser & Hubbard Engineers, Eugene Oregon
Landscape Architecture: Walker Macy, Portland Oregon
The construction firm will be chosen in January 2011.
Committees are still being formed, but to keep the process moving the first committee training will be this Friday, November 19th.