Building from the ground up

Matthew Knight Arena

Work continues on the Matthew Knight Basketball Arena. The $200 million structure, paid for with state bonds, is slated to replace the aging McArthur Court for the 2010-11 basketball season. Ground was also broken on the underground parking structure that will accompany the arena.

The garage will be located underneath the proposed Ford Alumni Center and provide 375 parking spaces, according to information from the University’s Campus Planning and Real Estate office. It is scheduled to be completed around May 10, but it will not be in use until the arena and alumni center are completed.

Alumni center

Construction has not yet begun on the alumni center, which will house the Alumni Association, the UO Foundation and the Development offices. The total project budget is $30 million, mostly money received in gifts, which campus construction director Darin Dehle said is “typically donor money.”

New residence hall

An ambitious new residence hall is also being planned close by. According to the project description, the new hall, which is yet to be named, will be located on the east side of the University campus next to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and will house 400 to 500 students.

Dehle said engineers are designing an underground tunnel to connect the residence hall to Matthew Knight Arena. Dehle also confirmed that ZGF Architects of Portland has been hired to design the hall, which he said has a projected budget of $65 to $75 million.
The planned location of the hall is the side of the last remaining large parking lot on campus.

PK Park

PK Park, the new baseball stadium, entered its second phase of construction in June. Slated to be completed in February 2010, the second phase will add a stadium with seating for 3,000 to 4,000 people, a player development area, a clubhouse, a press box, donor suites and concession stands.

The Eugene Emeralds have announced they will play their upcoming season at PK Park as well. However, the $19 million stadium will need another $2 to $3 million dollars in funding to be equipped for minor league play — money that simply isn’t available at the moment.

Both the University and the Emeralds have been lobbying the city and county for the funds, but so far nothing has materialized.  

Museum of Natural and Cultural History

This August, a sizable expansion to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History was completed. The expansion added laboratory and storage space for archaeological materials, according to information from Campus Planning and Real Estate. Federal funding, as well as private donations from the Ford Family Foundation and the Oregon Cultural Trust, provided a total $3.5 million in grants for the project.

University chiller plant

An upgrade to the University chiller plant, which provides cooled water for campus, has entered the first phase of construction and will be running by fall of this year. Dehle said the plant will be both more efficient and environmentally friendly once construction is complete.

Dehle said the equipment in the new plant will be “significantly more efficient than the building code requires.” The improved plant will also stop using the Eugene Millrace to cool its heated water, which Dehle said was raising the temperature of the pond and the nearby
Willamette River.

Randy Collins, operations supervisor of the central power station for Facilities Services, said the plant will go fully operational Oct. 15.

Science building

A new research facility, christened the Robert and Beverly Lewis Integrative Science Building, is also in the design stages. The project has a total budget of $65 million, about half of which comes from state bonds and half of which is gift money.

Dehle said construction is expected to begin on both the new residence hall and the science building sometime in the late spring or early summer of 2010.

Plans are also underway to renovate Gilbert Hall with $6 million in gift money.

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