Kitzhaber backs bonds to build on campus

Kitzhaber backs bonds to build on campus »Play Video

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Looking to reinvest in infrastructure, Governor Kitzhaber wants legislature to pass a bond program to make it happen.

If passed, the program would mean $68.5 million goes to Oregon State University.  

Sherman Bloomer of the Office of Budget and Planning at OSU thinks that the investment would be a huge benefit to the campus.

"This is tremendous, I mean we've been working towards this for some time in trying to grow our enrollments," Bloomer said.

Money from the bonds would pay for half of a new OSU classroom center and a $20 million chemical and biological engineering building near the Linus Pauling Science Center.

A quarter of the bond money would expand the OSU campus in Bend.

Bloomer said that rapidly rising enrollment numbers is the driver for building new spaces on campus.

"We've been really stretched to find good quality space to schedule enough sections," said Bloomer.

The classroom center and quad would be built next to the mid-campus soccer field.

It would be the biggest installment on campus, with half the funding paid for by the university and private donations.

"The chemical, biological, engineering building has matching funds from donors and the Benton community has stepped up and put in $4 million in private funding already," Bloomer said.

While the bonds are still pending approval, many people around campus seem excited about the move.

"More buildings will mean we can take more students. The classrooms are getting pretty crowded, and as an engineer I'm always happy for more science buildings," said Christy Kmierim, an engineering student.

"I like it. I think that we need the buildings and we need the space for the people that work here," said staff member Charlotte Rooks.

Bloomer said that construction for any of the projects is about two years away.  

The governor also recommends that some of the bond funding go to expand the EMU at the University of Oregon.