Oregon State University faculty, students and administrators attended the groundbreaking Tuesday of a new five-story living center. Located at 17th Street and Western Boulevard on the south end of campus, it is to be a combination residence hall and education center, with a focus on sustainability.
The 148,000-square-foot structure will house some 350 international and domestic students, provide new classrooms and contain offices for faculty and support services, a classroom auditorium with about 110 seats, and retail space for a coffee shop and a market that will include fresh fruit and produce.
The new building is scheduled to open in September of 2011. Its occupants will be roughly 70 percent international students and 30 percent students from Oregon and elsewhere in the United States.
OSU's strategic plan calls for doubling the university's international enrollment from about 4.8 percent of the student body in 2009 to 10 percent within the next five years. OSU's overall enrollment for its Corvallis campus reached nearly 22,000 students last fall term.
Much of the anticipated growth in international enrollment will come through Oregon State's collaboration with INTO University Partnerships, a United Kingdom-based firm specializing in recruiting international students.
Speakers at the groundbreaking included Corvallis Mayor Charles Tomlinson, OSU Provost and executive vice president Sabah Randhawa, and other university and INTO leaders.
The center is on target to earn a LEED gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council's "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" system. The Portland architecture firm Mahlum designed the new center. Fortis Construction, also of Portland, is the general contractor.