CORVALLIS, Ore. – The hub of the Oregon State University campus is getting a remake – and a new home for student programs.
Construction began this month on a $42 million project that will add a four-story Student Experience Center to campus. Located on the site of the old Beaver Store parking lot, the 90,000-square-foot building will house many of the student programs now residing in the Memorial Union, MU East and Snell Hall. Student fees are funding the project.
“In all, some 28 programs will relocate to the Student Experience Center when it is completed,” said Michael Henthorne, executive director of the Memorial Union. “A neat facet to the project will be construction of a plaza, which is an 8,000-square-foot canopy that will link the new center with the Memorial Union and host student and university events.
“A rain-protected, outdoor space was the number one student-requested improvement,” Henthorne added.
Among the programs that will be housed in the new Student Experience Center are the Associated Students of OSU, the Memorial Union Program Council, International Students of OSU, Student Media, Diversity Development, the Student Sustainability Initiative and others.
The building will also include a reflection space and several lounge areas.
The site of the former Beaver Store, which is relocated to a new space at the parking garage, will be remodeled, Henthorne said. When construction is completed, the space will include a 350-seat meeting facility, several student lounges, a new restaurant operated by the Memorial Union called North Porch Café, and a dance rehearsal space that can double as meeting space.
Portions of the Memorial Union will be remodeled, with some projects beginning now, and others after the completion of the Student Experience Center, when student programs and organizations relocate.
Among the new features of the Memorial Union:
- Many Hands Trading will lease a space beginning this fall;
- OSU Printing and Mailing will open a new retail and service headquarters this fall, including a full post office and package mailing center;
- The University ID Center will relocate to the MU in 2015;
- A new “high-tech” meeting facility will be installed in 2015;
- A family-friendly study lounge will open in 2015 with child resources for parents accompanied by small children.
Note to Journalists: This is a sidebar to a main story about summer construction at OSU.