OSU to hold public forum on new building at Hatfield Marine Science Center

A community forum regarding Oregon State University’s engineering and construction plans for a marine studies building on the Hatfield Marine Science Center campus in Newport will be held Wednesday, May 24, in Corvallis.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on OSU’s Corvallis campus in The LaSells Stewart Center’s Agricultural Sciences Room. The meeting also will be live streamed at: ­­­­­http://bit.ly/2rjRmC5

Oregon State University has launched a Marine Studies Initiative, a new research and teaching model to help sustain healthy oceans and ensure wellness, environmental health and economic prosperity for coastal communities.

“A component of the Marine Studies Initiative includes the construction of a research and teaching facility – the Marine Studies Building on the HMSC campus – and student housing at another location in Newport,” said Steve Clark, vice president for university relations and marketing.

“The workshop is an opportunity to hear how the university will ensure that the design, engineering and construction of the Marine Studies Building and student housing meet or exceed the earthquake and tsunami performance and safety commitments that OSU President Ed Ray has made.”

The workshop will include an update on the work of a project oversight committee, as well as updates by the project’s architect and the chair of an independent, third-party technical peer review panel, Clark said.

The meeting also will include an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

One Response to “OSU to hold public forum on new building at Hatfield Marine Science Center”

  1. Patrick Corcoran says:

    I support Oregon State University, and the diversity of voices in our community. If I could attend the event tonight, I would offer the following perspective.

    Oregon State University can choose to develop an “upper campus” on high ground, instead of a “hardened structure” at the current Hatfield site. The Upper Campus can serve as a hilltop location for all of OSU’s non-water dependent facilities, and as future building sites for our valued partner agencies and colleagues.

    Although initially appealing, building a “tsunami proof building” at the Hatfield site does not increase the safety of students, staff, faculty, and the public. Even in such a building adding 350 more people into the inundation zone on a daily basis will increase inevitable fatalities–relative to not adding 350 people into the inundation zone. If you happen to be walking out to your car at the time of the earthquake, you’re just another evacuee.

    In Japan, many of the vertical evacuation buildings are also behind massive seawalls and an entire system of hardened concrete structures. Individual evacuation structures create a false sense of security, incentivize more development in tsunami inundation zones, and lead to more people depending on the structure. Without a hardened coastline, individual buildings, like the proposed, provide little hope for refuge by most residents and visitors.

    Oregonians cannot afford, and will not permit, the system of engineered solutions that the Japanese have chosen. We must solve the problem differently. Our way.

    Evacuating to high ground immediately after the earthquake is the only alternative at this time. The basic principle is “the fewer the people in the inundation zone at the time of the earthquake, the fewer the fatalities.” Truly water dependent uses need to be in hazard zones, office and administrative space does not.

    Oregon State University can choose to develop an Upper Campus on high ground, instead of a hardened structure at the Hatfield site. The Upper Campus can serve as a hilltop location for all of OSU’s non-water dependent facilities, and as future building sites for our valued partner agencies and colleagues. (Pitch: “Great views, no tsunami drills!”)

    After the next event, the clock just starts over again. And, it’s a fair bet that everyone will want to relocate to high ground. Let’s secure that ground now, and invite our colleagues to join us over time–as opportunities and budgets allow.

    Creating an OSU Upper Campus at South Beach will be an investment that ensures OSU’s presence on the Oregon coast for the long term.

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