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Old Posted Nov 16, 2006, 5:39 PM
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Portland State University (PSU) Development News

I hate that building, good riddance!

there is a rendering of the new center in the paper, but I can't find it on PSU's website.
PSU targets old building for new rec center
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Fred Leeson
The Oregonian

As Portland State University prepares for its next leap into the future, a sure victim is the Portland Center for Advanced Technology.

The low-lying blue-brick building at 1800 S.W. Sixth Ave. is neither advanced nor, anymore, technological. And it sits on a block where the space-hungry urban university could build several stories of something new.

Which is exactly the plan. University officials will ask the state Emergency Board soon for permission to replace the P-CAT, as it is known, with a six-story structure to house a student recreation center and classrooms. A second phase could add two more stories of classrooms and offices, topping out at eight floors and filling the block bordered by Fifth and Sixth avenues and Montgomery and Harrison streets.

Lindsay Desrochers, PSU vice president for finance and administration, says the university has been working with the city and TriMet to speed up the project to coincide with reconstruction of the Transit Mall on Fifth and Sixth avenues.

PSU needs approval from the Emergency Board, rather than waiting for the 2007 Legislature, to meet the accelerated schedule. "We all want the construction done so when light rail rolls out in 2009 it will be as successful as possible," she says. Completing the projects simultaneously would reduce downtown disruption.

The P-CAT building started life in 1962 as Blue Cross of Oregon -- hence the blue exterior. The city acquired it and made it the Water Bureau headquarters for about a decade before PSU bought it in 1983. Its high-tech functions were transferred to the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science completed this year.

The P-CAT site is the third for the proposed recreation center. The university originally considered its Stott Center athletic building, but expansion wasn't feasible. The second site was at Southwest 12th and Market.

"We thought it made better sense to have this high-intensity use adjacent to the new light-rail station," says Ernest Tipton, PSU's campus planning manager.

Given that PSU is the single largest destination of transit users, the light-rail station near the rec center probably will be the busiest stop on the revamped mall.

Nothing has been designated yet for the Market Street site, but it won't sit indefinitely. "We are very space-poor," Desrochers says. In the next decade, PSU expects to see enrollment climb by 10,000 students to a total of 35,000. If that happens, the staff would grow from 3,420 to nearly 4,800.

The proposed rec center would allow students to swim, jog, play basketball, lift weights, do aerobics and climb a rock wall, among other things. Desrochers says PSU hopes to land "a fairly large restaurant" on the ground floor to complement the popular urban plaza adjacent on the north.

The first phase carries a $51 million price tag, to be paid over time mostly by student fees and retail leases. Adding the additional two stories would cost an additional $30 million, to be financed with gifts and state higher education bonds.

If the Emergency Board approves, demolition of P-CAT could begin next spring, to be followed by the first phase of construction.

Fred Leeson: 503-294-5946; fredleeson@news.oregonian.com
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2006, 6:47 PM
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awesome. i've always hated pcat. but i thought this block was designated as part of the g-e montgomery blocks development?
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2006, 10:39 PM
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Premium property should be further utilized

This is premium property that is close to the core of PSU and transportation. PSU should integrate student housing and some classrooms and offices into the design. I know that the school was originally forbidden from running housing as part of the agreement when it was founded. The school has grown significantly since I attended. College Housing Northwest who currently runs student housing has one 505 ft^2 apartment in the Clay building which will be available on 12/9 for $695 per mos. Normally there are no vacancies. More student housing would reduce demand for parking by allowing students who wish to live near campus to do so. How ironic for a University that supposdely has a top urban planning program.

I don't know how PSU would fund this construction. I would probably look to see how a recently constructed Broadway building (LEED) was financed. It has retail on the first floor with classrooms, computer labs on the second floor and student housing on the remaining floors. I visited an apartment in the Broadway building that has a kitchen and a bathroom. It was very small and rents for $700 per mos. Maybe a very small portion of the $200 million in tobacco money could have been used to subsidize interest on a bridge loan for additional floors for housing instead of building very large cardiac rooms on a hill where it is expensive to build.

I spent a great deal of time in that building when I studied engineering at PSU in the nineties. There is a book about an infamous hacker who was very persistent , but not very bright "@ large" which takes place in the PCAT building. I love the part about the moldy stairs. They used to Use sheets of plastic to temporarily protect the workstations from leaks in the roof.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2006, 10:45 PM
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funding information from PSU's website:

News: New Student Rec Center receives $42 million capital construction approval
Author: Tony Rasmussen Email: campusrec@pdx.edu Phone: 503.725.2943
Posted: September 16, 2005

Portland State students and administrators are fine-tuning construction details of a new Student Recreation Center after the Oregon Legislature approved the $42 million capital construction project earlier this summer. The project approval comes just months after an extensive survey conducted by Brailsford and Dunlavey, an independent firm based in Washington, DC, found that 70% of student respondents support a new recreation facility at PSU. Demand for a new facility is partially in response to overcrowding and inaccessibility of the current Peter Stott Recreation Center, which began hitting maximum capacity as early as 1987.

A new student recreation center is the largest component of the long-planned Urban Plaza site redevelopment and will replace the PCAT building. Draft designs of the building, which were largely based on requirements set forth by a student oversight committee, include state-of-the-art exercise facilities, aquatics services, a climbing wall, a running track, several courts, exercise studios, student art displays, and a student-run food business. Additionally, the center will provide space for student clubs, dance, and a home for recreational services such as intramural sports, outdoor programs, and wellness classes. The construction plans coincide with a joint effort by PSU, Tri-Met, and the City of Portland to expand the city's light rail system, known as 'MAX', to the PSU campus. The recreation center would be at least one of the light rail's stops in the area.

The current draft construction plans will undergo fine-tuning in upcoming months in preparation for final approval by the State Board of Higher Education. In addition to finalizing specifics in the construction plan, students and administrators are exploring an option that would add academic space to the facility.
Emphasis on sustainability

The new student recreation center received national attention in August when Athletic Business magazine highlighted the strong student support for the facility and for sustainable design. According to the extensive Brailsford and Dunlavey survey, 78% of respondents supported a $2/quarter raise in student fees to have the building meet Gold LEED Certification, a sustainable design rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council. The fee increase would contribute to several sustainable components of the building design, such as an 'eco-roof'.
Student ownership

Construction and operation of the facility would be primarily paid for by PSU students. In a survey conducted by Brailsford and Dunlavey in spring 2005, approximately 65% of student respondents supported an increase of the Student Incidental Fee of $10-11/month in order to pay for facility operations, in addition to a $9/month fee to pay for construction. "With the participation of 2,623 students, this was one of the largest student surveys in the history of PSU," said senior student Tony Rasmussen, Communications Coordinator for Campus Recreation. The remaining costs for the Urban Plaza site redevelopment would be supplemented by various revenue sources such as parking and space rental, according to Cathy Dyck, PSU's Associate Vice President for Finance and Planning.

Students, working with PSU officials through an oversight committee and focus groups, have caused several specific improvements to the building's design. For example, multiple improvements have been made to the accessibility of the building for students with disabilities. Students have also advocated for the creation a rooftop garden and increased community space in the main lobby. "Students have driven almost every decision of our initial designs and their insights continue to make tangible differences", said Alex Accetta, PSU's Coordinator of Campus Recreation. "We will continue to make this project reflect the needs of students".
Student demand

In addition to 70% of student respondents supporting a new recreation center in the survey conducted by Brailsford and Dunlavey, students have shown their support for the project in other surveys, referendums, and focus groups over the past three years. In a survey conducted in February 2003, over 87% of student respondents supported an expanded recreation facility. A referendum during the initial 2004 student elections passed with 57% of ballots cast. Those results were invalided by an unrelated campaign issue (see Daily Vanguard, "Maybe the second time around", 2 April 2004), however students passed the referendum again in the final election with 50.3% of ballots cast.

"The combination of results from surveys, referendums, and focus groups indicate a strong desire from diverse PSU students for a new student owned-and-operated recreational facility", said Rasmussen.

For more information about the New Student Rec Center project, visit www.campusrec.pdx.edu or contact campusrec@pdx.edu
http://www.pdx.edu/news/7358/
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 2:54 AM
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cool but i also thought this block was a part of the whole montgomery blocks thing.
also someone posted a rendering of new student housing in the corner of the somewhat new broadway student housing project.
does anyone know anything else about this?
and mark(dig the new avatar) what section was this the rendering in in the paper.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 4:14 AM
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^ the myhre web site made it sound like the housing in the corner of the broadway student housing would actually be condos, not more student housing.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 5:31 AM
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Wasn't that a state building or an insurance building before PSU got it?
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 6:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvpcvm
^ the myhre web site made it sound like the housing in the corner of the broadway student housing would actually be condos, not more student housing.
they will be condos; same people who did the Mosaic.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 6:56 AM
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http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=105490

Here's the link to the gerding/edlin project. I believe the g/e project is 2 blocks east of the urban center.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 7:08 AM
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ok, i think i get it. the "montgomery blocks" project includes pcat. the g-e proposal covers the eastern 2 montgomery blocks as well as the next 2 further east.

montgomery blocks
g-e proposal
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 7:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
Wasn't that a state building or an insurance building before PSU got it?
I think many moons ago, the PCAT building at PSU was a Blue Cross Insurance building . . . probably before they moved their offices to the Portland Center area several blocks away.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 8:39 AM
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I heard about this a few years ago, I am happy they are getting closer to making it a reality. Alittle side note, the dean of PSU will be moving his office to this building as well. Apparently he figured he needed and upgrade too.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 8:53 AM
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I'm glad to see all the recent investment in higher education in OHSU and PSU. PSU just opened that new science/engineering building a few years ago too.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 9:27 AM
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PSU president's office, large Restaurant, Athletic

Spoke to a former coworker about PCAT replacement. He has seen several plans. The building will include the PSU President's office, a large restaurant, a student athletic center, and some classrooms and offices.

Since the President's office is involved it will probably be pushed through without change. Too bad as current and future students need more housing. The surrounding condos will not fill the need for student housing which is scarce at the moment.

2. If you read the Oregonian article that was posted you will see that PCAT was originally the Blue Cross Blue Shield building, City water building, and then PSU's building.
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 9:42 AM
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I so wish that the state would dump an extra billion or two into PSU...
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 9:57 AM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Castillonis
This is premium property that is close to the core of PSU and transportation. PSU should integrate student housing and some classrooms and offices into the design. I know that the school was originally forbidden from running housing as part of the agreement when it was founded. The school has grown significantly since I attended. College Housing Northwest who currently runs student housing has one 505 ft^2 apartment in the Clay building which will be available on 12/9 for $695 per mos. Normally there are no vacancies. More student housing would reduce demand for parking by allowing students who wish to live near campus to do so. How ironic for a University that supposdely has a top urban planning program.

I don't know how PSU would fund this construction. I would probably look to see how a recently constructed Broadway building (LEED) was financed. It has retail on the first floor with classrooms, computer labs on the second floor and student housing on the remaining floors. I visited an apartment in the Broadway building that has a kitchen and a bathroom. It was very small and rents for $700 per mos.
A bit of comparison between PSU (largest college in the state) and U of O (2nd largest, best rated state school in state):

On-campus housing:

UO: 8,000 - plus thousands of housing units in neighborhoods adjacent to the university. Literally the 'slums of Eugene' - but very affordable for students. I rented a 2-bedroom apartment there with a friend for $600/mo
Dorms were around $700/mo - included internet, all utilities, and food (2-3 meals/day)

PSU: see above - comparable rent. I believe Ondine has a cafeteria, not sure if food programs are included with rent. Virtually no student-priced housing nearby, whereas UO has tens of thousands of units available.

Money gifts:
UO: Phil Knight has cut checks worth $100/s of millions of dollars to the university for Autzen stadium and the new to-be-built basketball stadium.

PSU: largest endowment, $8 million - went towards the new engineering bldg

Land area:
UO: 280 acres. Larger than downtown Portland?
PSU: ?
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 10:06 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxman
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=105490

Here's the link to the gerding/edlin project. I believe the g/e project is 2 blocks east of the urban center.


This project is block #3. This IS phase 2 of the Montgomery Blocks Redevelopment (PSU Urban Center being phase 1).
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Old Posted Nov 17, 2006, 5:15 PM
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Quote:
and mark(dig the new avatar) what section was this the rendering in in the paper.
thanks, I actually snapped that pic last January, looked more clear until I had to shrink it a million times.

The rendering was in the In-Portland section.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 4:52 PM
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Portland State about to begin building its future on its past
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Look for lots of construction activity next year on the Portland State University campus. The state Emergency Board has authorized state bonds for the first stage of a new student recreation center with retail space at 1800 S.W. Sixth Ave., outlined on these pages Nov. 16. The five-story structure, bearing a $51 million price tag, could be topped later with additional floors for classrooms, offices and laboratories if the Legislature agrees with more money.

Meanwhile, the university is emptying historic Shattuck Hall, built 90 years ago as a Portland elementary school, to make way for a $13.5 million renovation. A new roof and seismic bracing are key items on the work list, to be completed by fall 2008. Shattuck is one of two former public schools on the PSU campus . . . Old Main, four blocks north of Shattuck, was erected as Lincoln High School.

FRED LEESON
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Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 1:33 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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yes, all the architecture students are being relocated to the Unitus building next to 405 - Shattuck was our home. =P
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