Living center groundbreaking celebrated

INTO OSU students help turn over dirt during the groundbreaking of a new residence hall and education center on campus. (photo: Mark Floyd)

Oregon State University faculty, students and administrators celebrated the groundbreaking of a new five-story living center that will be a combination residence hall and education center, as well as a model of sustainability. Speakers included Corvallis mayor Charles Tomlinson, OSU provost and executive vice president Sabah Randhawa, and other university and INTO leaders.

The 148,000-square-foot structure will house some 350 international and domestic students, provide new classrooms, and contain offices for faculty and support services, a classroom auditorium with about 110 seats, and retail space for a coffee shop and a market that will include fresh fruit and produce.

The new facility, located at 17th Street and Western Boulevard on the south end of campus, is scheduled to open in September of 2011. Its occupants will be comprised of roughly 70 percent international students and 30 percent students from Oregon and elsewhere in the United States.

OSU’s strategic plan calls for doubling the university’s international enrollment from about 4.8 percent of the student body in 2009 to 10 percent within the next five years. OSU’s overall enrollment for its Corvallis campus reached nearly 22,000 students last fall term.

Corvallis Mayor Charlie Tomlinson speaks to the crowd assembled to celebrate the groundbreaking. (photo: Mark Floyd)

Much of the anticipated growth in international enrollment will come through Oregon State’s collaboration with INTO University Partnerships, a United Kingdom-based firm specializing in recruiting international students. In 2008, OSU became the first American university to partner with INTO, and the first students began entering “pathway programs” on campus last year. The new students have come to Oregon State from more than 30 different countries.

The center is on target to earn a LEED gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” system. The Portland architecture firm, Mahlum, designed the new center. Fortis Construction, also of Portland, is the general contractor.

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