Archives for Fee Impact

SEC Planning & Construction Postponed

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

TO DO: The Fee Impact Committee needs your assistants

To assist in the identification of the cost impacts involved in the vacating of Snell Hall and relocation to the Student Experience Center (SEC) or Memorial Union (MU). Please fill out the Construction Cost Impacts form.  The Student Fee Impact committee will compile and data provided for the purpose of identifying and securing a funding source for your group.  Please submit completed forms by June 15th.  Forms may be updated and submitted multiple times during the SEC?MU planning and construction.

Areas for interest are:

Existing Items/Equipment: What existing items/equipment in your current space will be relocated to your new space?

New Items/Equipment: What items/equipment will be need for your new space?

Operations & Maintenance: Provide a list of items/equipment needs that will directly linked to the operations & maintenance with an approximate cost.

The Construction Cost Impacts form can be found on the Student Fee Impact Committee’s page.  The link to the page is located in the top navigation bar of this site.

Students, administration work out SEC issues

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

Accelerated Timeline

There was a nice article in the Daily Barometer on Wednesday about the financial impact the accelerated timeline is having on student fees.  This has been a major issue that the Student Fee Impact Committee has been working on the last few months.  The original plan set out in the referendum approved by students last spring was based on a phased move out of Snell Hall high rise and maintaining low rise portion of Snell Hall for student programs.  The phased move out allowed the financing to be spared out over several year reducing bond cost and maintaining revenue levels. 

During the summer term this year the OSU administration accelerated the timeline to vacate Snell Hall and removed the availability of students to maintain the low rise portion of Snell Hall.  The overall finical impact to student could be $17.99 million.

You can see all the articles by the Daily Barometer related to the SEC at the top of the homepage for this site.  This group of articles starts in May of 2003. You can always read the Daily Barometer online at:

OSU Bookstore Move

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.

Space Planning Committee

Responsible for the space plan, occupancy and collaboration with architects to develop the SEC interior office, program and service areas. This group will meld into a policy recommendation group at the conclusion of the building programming phase.

SEC Construction Committee

Responsible for construction coordination, general purpose and public space planning, construction budget, timelines and minimizing impact on campus and using sustainable systems/finishes. Coordinates w/ architects for historical district fit, LEED certification, and public space planning.

Memorial Union East Wing Committee

Responsible for MU space plan, occupancy recommendations and collaboration with architects to program the MU East Wing and any other space necessary to serve remaining Snell programs not housed in the SEC. Make recommendations on vacancies in MU created by relocation to SEC.