Groundbreaking set for Collaborative Life Sciences Building

Project is first phase of Schnitzer Campus and OHSU Commons in South Waterfront
by: Courtesy of OHSU When it is finished in 2014, the Collaborative Life Sciences Building will offer 500,000 square feet of new classrooms and other educational facilities on South Waterfront.

A groundbreaking ceremony is Thursday morning for the new Oregon University System/Oregon Health and Science University Collaborative Life Sciences Building in South Waterfront.

The 500,000-square-foot building is joint project between the Oregon University System and the Oregon Health and Science University. It will house programs from OHSU, Portland State University and Oregon State University. Goals include creating new employment opportunities by increasing partnerships among the three institutions and expanding teaching facilities, class sizes and research activities.

When the partially completed building opens in August 2013, it will include classrooms for PSU students. The completed building - which should be finished by spring 2014 - will include lecture halls, labs, specialty research centers, the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems, OHSU School of Dentistry facilities, joint OSU-OHSU College of Pharmacy facilities, offices for health professionals and education programs from multiple institutions and ground-floor retail space.

The building will open more space for medical school programs, allowing OHSU to add more students in dental school classes, increase physician assistant program classes and increase pharmacy programs.

The building will be on Southwest Moody Avenue north of Bond Street, a new street being built to TriMet's Willamette River transit bridge. The building will also be served by the Portland Streetcar line.

The building is also the first phase of the campus OHSU plans on about 26 acres donated by Portland's Schnitzer family. The Schnitzer Campus and OHSU Commons includes new streets, parking, utilities, open space and pedestrian connections.

Budgeted at $295 million, the building is funded by a public-private partnership that includes $110 million from state bonds, $92 million from OHSU institutional funding, $83 million from OHSU philanthropy and $10 million from TriMet (ioffset by $10 million worth of Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail Line work by OUS).

OHSU has also built the Center for Health and Wellness in South Waterfront at the eastern end of the tram that connects to its Marquam Hill facilities.

A groundbreaking ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Speakers include Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner, OHSU President Joseph Robertson, PSU President Wim Wiewel, OSU President Edward Ray, a representative of the Schnitzer family and a student.