OSU to Break Ground on $10 Million Renovation of Historic Engineering Building


CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University will break ground Saturday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. on a $10 million renovation of historic Apperson Hall, which will retain the structure’s historic stone exterior while completely updating the interior to create a 21st-century learning and research facility.

The building’s existing interior wood structure will be removed piece-by-piece and replaced with a steel structure that meets seismic codes. The renovated building, which houses OSU’s civil and construction engineering management programs, will feature a 120-seat auditorium, a three-story atrium/light court, state-of-the-art classrooms, and a lobby with stone flooring and wainscoting that echoes the historic character of original 1898 space.

So that the building can be used as a teaching tool, portions of some ceilings will be left exposed and “windows” provided in walls to teach students about structural, mechanical and electrical features.

The renovation also incorporates cutting-edge environmental design elements to achieve silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The project is funded entirely by private contributions, with a $4 million lead gift given by OSU civil engineering alumnus Lee Kearney and his wife, Connie, of Vancouver, Wash. To date, more than 500 OSU alumni and friends have made donations. About $600,000 is still needed to meet an $850,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation, but construction will begin this fall to avoid costly delays.

“This major renovation project is the next milestone on our path toward delivering the impact of a top-25 engineering program,” said Ron Adams, dean of the college. “Building on our legacy of graduates who have gone on to found and lead engineering firms like CH2M-HILL and Peter Kiewit Sons, the students who learn and do research in this building will become the engineering leaders of tomorrow.”

SERA Architects, Inc. and Hoffman Construction Company, both based in Portland, Ore., are providing the design and construction management services for the project. Work on the hall, which will be named in honor of the Kearneys, is scheduled to be completed in late 2007.