The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center at Oregon State University is getting ready for its new home. Construction starts on its new building in late summer, with completion expected by June 2014.
A celebration of the center’s history and future is scheduled from 1 to 2 p.m. today at 2320 S.W. Monroe Ave. A formal program is planned in a tent next to the original building, followed by historical tours.
The Black Cultural Center’s temporary headquarters are in Snell Hall. The current BCC building, which is part of OSU’s historic district, will be relocated to a community garden at 30th Street and Orchard Avenue.
The center’s new building was designed by the Seattle architectural firm of Jones & Jones, which is designing all of OSU’s new cultural center buildings. The building will feature a circular lounge and exterior brick patterns based on Yoruba textiles known as Aso Oke, from Nigeria.
The original Black Student Union Cultural Center was formed at OSU in 1975 and later renamed the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center after the first director of the Educational Opportunities Program, which originally helped increase recruitment and retention of black students.
The project is in line with improvements to other cultural centers on campus.
The grand opening of the Eena Haws Native American Longhouse was held last month. Construction on the new Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez begins this week, with completion estimated for December 2013. Plans also are in the works for a new home for the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center.