University of Oregon Begins 12-Year Residence Hall Capital Plan

EUGENE, Ore. — Construction is scheduled to begin on a new 531-bed student dormitory on the east edge of the University or Oregon (UO) campus in Eugene later this spring or summer. UO officials advanced the project, which has been in the works for more than a year, by applying for a $31.5 million building permit from the city of Eugene in late December.

The soon-to-be-built dorm will be the first major residence hall construction project for the university since Global Scholars Hall opened in 2012. It will include a common area, small auditorium, faculty offices, a scholar in residence apartment and flexible learning space. In contrast to other campus residence halls, the new dorm will not have a dining hall because its close proximity to the Global Scholars Hall will allow students to access that dining area instead, reported The Register-Guard.

The total project cost for the five-story, 140,000-square-foot project is estimated at $45 million, the UO Board of Trustees told The Register-Guard, which will be funded by revenue bonds sold by the university. It is the first project in the university’s residence hall capital plan, which includes extensively remodeling three existing dorms in phases over the next 12 years.

Once the new dorm is finished in fall 2017, the university will begin the cycle of renovations, completing half of a large residence hall at a time, Michael Griffel, UO director of housing, wrote The Register-Guard. Renovations will start with Bean Hall from 2017 to 2020, followed by Hamilton Hall from 2020 to 2023 and Walton Hall from 2025 to 2027. The new residence hall is necessary to house students during the renovation project, as dorm buildings will be unavailable during construction.

These dorm upgrades will cost the university at least $124 million over the next 12 years, according to project documents shared with the UO Board of Trustees. The school found that renovating the buildings would cost about 40 percent of the cost of building new, according to a residence hall study that the university conducted in 2011.