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Higher Ed Board Committee updated on Life Sciences Complex, approves UO property purchase and computing center upgrades

Contact: Di Saunders, OUS – Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869

PORTLAND, November 5, 2010 – The State Board of Higher Education’s Finance and Administration Committee met today at telephonically to hear an update on the Life Sciences Complex, and review capital projects at the University of Oregon, among other items considered by the Board Committee.

Life Sciences Complex
Lindsay Desrochers, vice president of finance and administration at Portland State University, and Jay Kenton, OUS vice chancellor for finance and administration, provided an update on the OUS/OHSU Life Sciences Collaborative Building (LSCB). Desrochers said that the LSCB Project Steering Committee has reached some significant milestones during the last three months, including: the LSCB, which is expected to open in fall 2014, will be a 262,300 (approx.) square foot building which will be the home for Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Medicine, Oregon State University’s School of Pharmacy, and PSU’s departments of Biology and Chemistry among other programs. The building will provide privately financed research space to engender and foster business in biosciences and related areas, and also provide parking and retail services. The LSCB will be the first building on OHSU’s new Schnitzer Campus on the South Waterfront, occupying one half of a block that will eventually also house a second research and instruction building for OHSU.

Desrochers noted that the LSCB is to be funded with $50 million from State XIG bonds, $40 million from private donation to OHSU, $60 million from State XIF(1) bonds, $l0-20 million in private research space investments, and $l0 million from Tri Met (for construction of related light rail station). Bonding authority was originally authorized in the 2009-2011 biennium, but reauthorization is now required by the State bond counsel in consideration of new provisions for financing authorities under Measures 68 and 69 (passed in the election last spring). Last year, the OUS Chancellor and OHSU President appointed a Steering Committee to guide the development of the project including establishing a governance structure for ownership and shared operations, design and construction of the project, and financial management. The LSCB Steering Committee has recently completed a Memorandum of Understanding, a ground lease, and a Tenancy in Common agreement, establishing several important agreements and ground rules for the OUS/OHSU partnership.

The Steering Committee has also completed important elements of the predevelopment work, including review and confirmation of the initial schematic design and project budget as well as initiation of site planning work with the City of Portland and TriMet on related street and light rail projects. It has also solicited information from private sector developers/investors (with 10 responses) and has subsequently issued an RFP for development teams (with 3 responses). The Steering Committee is currently in negotiations with a selected developer team on business terms with the intent of completing contracts by the end of the year. A minimum of $10 million (non recourse to the universities) was required in the RFP to build private research space. The current developer team proposed investing between $10 million and $20 million in private research space. Upon successful completion of contracts with the development team, it is anticipated that bonds will be sold in the spring of 2011, with construction commencing in the summer of 2011.

In other action and discussion at the meetings, the Committee:

  • Accepted the Quarterly Management Report for September 30, 2010. The next management reports for the quarter ending December 31, 2010, are scheduled to be presented to the Committee in February 201.
  • Accepted the Investment Report as of September 30, 2010.
  • Authorized the Chancellor, or designee, to seek $1.9 million in Other Funds expenditure limitation from the December 2010 Emergency Board for the University of Oregon to acquire the Glenwood development property located at 3233 Franklin Blvd., Springfield, Oregon, consistent with the terms and conditions described in the docket. The Property is approximately 4.17 acres and would be purchased from the owner, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, for $1,830,000.
  • Authorized the Chancellor, or designee, to seek $4 million in Other Funds expenditure limitation at the December 2010 Legislative Emergency Board for the renovation of the Computing Center at the University of Oregon.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services, and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.

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