On May 25, 2010 OSU students voted to build a new “Student Experience Center” that will include many of the current occupants of Snell Hall. The vote had the highest voter turnout in recent memory with a 70% approval. The new building should be completed around the end of 2014 and you can see information and update at the Student Experience Center website.
For the last 5 years, elected student leaders and student committee members have been searching for a solution to the increasing demand for student space at OSU. Many options were considered, including having multiple small locations, remodeling and expanding existing facilities, or doing nothing. The current proposal is the most cost effective in the long run for students.
• Multiple small locations would still require allocating student funds to adapt existing facilities and have an overall larger operating cost in the long run.
• Remodeling or expanding existing facilities would incur sufficient costs and would not provide adequate facilities for increasing technology demands. The McBride Snell Feasibility Study from January 2010 concluded that it would cost an estimated $22 million to make that building structurally sound and would require much more to be adapted to meet current needs. The conclusion was that the building was not a sound investment and should be demolished.
• Doing nothing would require the elimination of many student services and programs with the demolition of Snell Hall. Students would lose services that would eventually shift costs to students currently covered by student fees.
Beginning Fall 2011, student fees would increase by $48 FWS terms and $36 for summer. Fees will be collected two years prior to the doors opening. Article XI-F Bonds will be sold by the Oregon University System and be paid off in 20-30 years maximum.
Construction cost would be $42 million.
• 80% will be for new construction
• 10% will be for remodel of existing space affected in the Memorial Union
• 10% will be for fees and permits
Construction costs and bond interest rates are at a low but expected to rise, making this an optimum time for construction.
• If this building had been built in 2008, it would have cost $5 million more in construction plus an additional $21 million in higher interest rates.
• If projections hold true, if this building were to be built in 2014, it will cost $15 million more in construction costs and an extra $19 million in interest. (*Estimates of construction cost are from RLB Quarterly Construction Cost Report, estimates of interest rates for bonds are from the State Board of Higher Education).
Students save money by building now at a time when construction costs are down and interest is low.
The Student Experience Center (SEC) will utilize a number of sustainable strategies in its design: energy efficient lighting, day lighting, passive/natural ventilation, and highly efficient mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.
• A large atrium, or “Winter Garden”, will create a year-round tempered gathering space. The space will be warmed in the winter by sunlight; while a portion of the return (tempered) air will be recovered to provide the atrium space with partially conditioned air. This will reduce heating energy.
• Passive, natural ventilation and carefully oriented glazing will keep summer temperatures within a few degrees of ambient.
• The use of water efficient fixtures; reuse of storm water for flushing/irrigation
• The use of materials with high recycled content and sustainable manufacturing processes. The use of local materials.
• Construction waste diversion from landfills
• Low VOC emitting materials.
Additional possible measures could be green roof, solar water heaters, and/or solar power panels.
ADA and Accessibility
The student Experience Center will exceed the codes for ADA compliance and the accessibility will extend to the landscape and hardscape.
Universal Design principles are:
• Equitable Use
• Flexibility in Use
• Simple and Intuitive Design
• Perceptible Information
• Tolerance for Error
• Low Physical Effort
• Size and Space for Approach and Use