SEC approved by Oregon Legislature
After weeks of waiting, capital construction bill receives approval from legislature
Published: Monday, March 5, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:07
The 2010 student referendum that voted in favor of the Student Experience Center has finally come to fruition.
The capital construction bill, or House Bill 5202, which contains three Oregon State University building projects including the Student Experience Center, was approved by the Oregon Senate last night. The Senate meeting concluded at 8:48 p.m.
HB 5202 establishes authority for the planning, design and construction of capital projects. In order to pass, all projects it contained had to be authorized by the Legislature.
The bill, which was part of the 2012 Regular Session that began Feb. 1, was not seen by legislature for several weeks due to disapproval of certain projects in the bill.
The bill first went through a Joint Committee on Ways and Means yesterday at 3 p.m., where senators and representatives reviewed HB 5201, which provides bond proceeds for some of the projects on HB 5202.
The Joint Committee discussed the issues surrounding HB 5202, including amendments and the removal of the Sustainability Center, a Portland State University project that was originally in the bill but did not end up receiving authorization.
"This has been a long process, and I appreciate the time and attention the legislature has devoted to the three OSU projects contained in the state's capital construction budget," said Jock Mills, OSU director of Government Relations, who attended the Joint Committee session yesterday.
The bill was then passed through the Oregon House of Representatives, followed by the Senate. It must now be signed by the Governor to become law.
Michael Henthorne, director of the Memorial Union and Educational Activities, said the necessary steps for construction of the three OSU projects, comprised of the Student Experience Center, renovation of the Memorial Union and a new residential hall, will begin soon now that the bill has been passed.
"Once we have written confirmation of bill passage, we will notify contractors," Henthorne said. He added that when it was suspended in June, contractors were off the project for the interim period. "Once we get them back under contract, we hope to get going at the start of spring term."
Henthorne expects physical campus changes will begin by January 2013.
"Future generations of students will benefit from the foresight of OSU students who conceived and approved the funds for these projects in a campus-wide vote in 2010," Mills said.
Joce DeWitt, news editor