Major University of Oregon Campus Construction Projects Progressing

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Over the past two years, it has seemed that when one construction project on the University of Oregon campus is completed, another begins.

These campus changes are all part of the UO’s 10-year plan, with some funded through donations and gifts and others tied to students’ regular costs of living on campus. Some of the most notable projects on campus will be completed by the start of the fall term.

Here are the main changes that are happening on campus and where they are at their completion.

Say thanks to hall

The newest dorm on campus – Unthank Hall – is one of the most notable changes underway on campus right now. Located on Agate Street, Unthank is named after DeNorval Unthank Jr., who was the first African American to graduate from the OU’s School of Allied Architecture and Arts, and designed the McKenzie Rooms and Bean on campus.

Crews have been working on this project since winter 2019, as Phase 1 of the OU’s Hamilton and Walton Hall transformation project, which was approved by the Board of Directors in September 2019 and is estimated to cost. to $ 87 million. Unthank Hall will have several dining options for students, a sports bar-style space open to all on campus, and a welcome center for potential new students.

The new dormitory is seven stories high and nearly finished, towering over the outdated neighbor it replaces: Hamilton Hall. Inside, workers put the finishing touches, like paint and decals, and move into the furniture.

During the last week of August, the teams focused on repairs to the outside strike list, commissioning the HVAC, starting food services and training, according to the UO website.

“It’s on schedule, it’s on budget,” said Michael Harwood, associate vice president for campus planning and facilities management. “The students are moving this fall.

Walton Room

The reconstruction of Walton Hall is Phase 2 of UO’s dormitory transformation plan and is underway. Crews demolish the old building in portions, starting with the closest wing to Agate Street.

They began the teardown process at the end of June, Harwood said, and by mid-August they had torn down the east-facing walls to reveal the identical interior of the dormitory.

“Before starting the demolition, we brought in BRING Recycling to try to recycle some of the built-in elements and furniture,” said Harwood. “We also removed items that we could reuse on campus, such as doors and hardware. BRING Recycling took a large part of the wood from built-in (dormitory) elements, such as desks and wardrobes.

The crews must perform the dismantling piece by piece, to take into account any potentially dangerous material.

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With an exterior wall demolished, dormitories can be seen at the University of Oregon as work to remove the old dormitory continues.

“They have to do asbestos reduction, whatever lead paint they find …

All of Walton Hall is slated to be demolished by November. Unthank Hall will be open and Hamilton will still be hosting students this year, so no rooms will be lost while the old Walton is cleaned up and a new one is built in the same location.

Next, Hamilton will be demolished and redeveloped into a new green space about 20% larger than what the students affectionately called “The Humpy Lumpy Lawn” where Unthank Hall is now located. This is phase 3.

“You will be able to see all the way (across campus) to the Matthew Knight Arena,” Harwood said. “It won’t be as bumpy and bumpy, but it will be a functional green space.”

These last two phases are expected to be completed by summer 2023.

Huestis Room

Huestis Hall, built in 1974, is also undergoing a facelift with UO aiming to begin construction this spring.

The renovation project is funded by the Oregon State Legislature. The building is a focal point for science programs, teaching laboratories and research. In August, the UO began preparing other spaces on campus to accommodate these programs and laboratories during their renovation.

There are obvious issues with the building, which can be seen right away. For example, Harwood pointed out that the coating that was used on concrete previously leaked, leaving streaks along the exterior walls. But beneath the surface there are other issues to be solved. The whole mechanical system is in the basement, for example.

“We have to take a lot of things out, redo the mechanical systems, the electrical systems,” Harwood said.

As with Walton, they’ll have to cut back on Huestis, removing asbestos they might find and knocking down the walls. Windows will also be replaced and a new elevator will be installed, along with major seismic upgrades. However, brick and concrete will remain.

“It will be a demolition to the posts, which means that we have removed all the finishes, all the mechanical and electrical elements and we basically have the floors, the exterior walls, the structure.”

Harwood said they hope to start construction in the spring or summer of 2022.

University and Salles Villard

UO has yet to begin renovations to University and Villard Halls, which are the oldest historic buildings on campus, over 150 years old. The state is also funding these renovations, known as UO’s “Heritage Renovation Project”.

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Buildings need serious renovations for safety, accessibility and seismic improvements. “They have great exteriors, but the interior is inefficient,” Harwood said.

UO is still in the early planning stages, he said, figuring out logistics such as the destination of programs hosted in buildings while work is in progress.

“We thought doing them together gave us the most efficiency, so if you have carpenters or something like that, instead of doing one building and then coming back later and doing the next building, it’s more efficient.” , did he declare. “But we didn’t understand this piece. That’s the plan, that’s the concept. How we’re going to do it, that’s what we’re talking about right now.”

Construction is expected to start in early 2023 and projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Contact reporter Jordyn Brown at [email protected] or 541-246-4264, and follow her on Twitter @thejordynbrown and Instagram @registerguard. Support local journalism, subscribe to The Register-Guard.


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