CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University is getting a new look with buildings sprouting all over campus – some of which are at the expense of parking spots.
Construction is booming on OSU’s campus, and the projects are not stopping any time soon. Governor John Kitzhaber placed an extra $145 million for OSU construction in his budget. The Oregon Legislature passed it, and OSU has already started drawing new plans for the future. In total, OSU says it is spending nearly $300 million on new construction projects thanks to state budget, private donations, student fees, and bonding.
Current projects include: Austin Hall, the new home for the College of Business; the Student Experience Center; a new residence hall; the César Chávez Cultural Center; the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center; the Basketball Center; and the new OSU Beaver Store.
An accounting student, Alex Beehler, says he is thrilled about the new business building.
“I’m really excited because I know it’s going to be like Kelley Engineering,” Beehler said. “It’s going to be a better place where students can go hang out, network, and socialize.”
The OSU Bookstore is moving down 26th Street, and will temporarily close on Aug. 8. The new store sits between Reser Stadium, Gill Coliseum, and Goss Stadium. Beaver fan Jim Beck walks by the new Beaver Store often and says he can’t wait for its doors to finally open on Aug. 13.
“I’m really excited to come check it out inside once it opens,” Beck said. “I think the building’s beautiful; I think they’ve done a great job with the style and the architecture. And I’m really excited to see what they did with the inside.”
But all the construction projects bring up a big question: parking.
“I was wondering why they were tearing apart the parking garage,” said Beck, referring to the Beaver Store. “I was kind of curious as to how they were sacrificing parking space for football and basketball games.”
And the site for the new Student Experience Center is where the bookstore parking lot used to be.
“Parking can definitely be a pain all around campus here,” Beehler said. “Especially when the only place to really park is the parking garage, which is far.”
Oregon State University says there is plenty of space in the parking garage next to the new student store, and there are also free shuttle rides around campus.
Despite the parking issues, fans say it doesn’t make them any less pumped about what is coming to campus.
“Once I realized they were putting a Beaver Store here I was actually really excited,” Beck said. “Because I feel like it’s just a great opportunity to get fans more involved in Beaver spirit and having a really quick access to gear on game day.”
Future construction projects on campus include: the Lonnie B. Harries Black Cultural Center, a new engineering building north of Kelley Engineering Building, a major remodeling of Strand Ag Hall, a new building for classrooms across a new plaza from Austin Hall, a remodel of the Memorial Union’s East Wing where the bookstore is currently located, and construction along Washington Way.