Legislature Enables OIT to Move Forward on Wilsonville Campus

Jul 13, 2011
July 13, 2011, KLAMATH FALLS, OR. – Governor John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 5006  on July 6, 2011, providing Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech)

July 13, 2011, KLAMATH FALLS, OR. – Governor John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 5006  on July 6, 2011, providing Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) the lottery-backed bonds needed to consolidate its Portland metro campuses into a single campus location in Wilsonville. Oregon Tech’s Portland metro campus consolidation will create efficiencies, save money, and help meet student demand in Oregon for technology, allied health professions, and renewable energy programs. It is one of the seven public institutions that make up the Oregon University System (OUS).

The 2011-13 Governor’s Recommended Budget for OUS Capital Construction, which will be signed later this month, features 27 projects for a total investment of $406.9 million. Oregon Tech will receive $20 million in lottery-backed bonds to consolidate its Portland campuses into one campus in Wilsonville, opening for classes in Fall 2012. The new Wilsonville campus will be located in the former InFocus headquarters at 27500 SW Parkway. The 131,000 square-foot building affords Oregon Tech the opportunity to expand its classroom and laboratory space, to increase the number of health, engineering, and technology graduates in the metro area, grow partnerships with industry, focusing on undergraduate and applied masters degrees, and provide space and opportunity for enhanced applied baccalaureate agreements with community colleges, as well as the ability to enhance the presence of Oregon Tech along I-5 corridor.

“The passage of and signing of SB5006 is a great success for Oregon Tech and the OUS as a whole,” commented Chris Maples, president of Oregon Institute of Technology. “We have a lot of individuals to thank for their role in seeing this bill through the House and the Senate, and supporting higher education overall in Oregon. It’s been a group effort. From our legislators in Klamath Falls and in Wilsonville, Representatives Garrard and Wingard, and Senators Whitsett and George, to the State Board of Higher Education, the OUS Chancellor’s Office and its legislative team, the members of the President’s Advisory Council, the Wilsonville City Council and Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce, to the Oregon Tech students who testified in Salem, wrote letters and spoke to their legislators. It’s been a long road, but we did it together.”

Oregon Tech must raise an additional $10 million to complete the necessary funding for the Wilsonville campus. Contributions to Oregon Institute of Technology’s Wilsonville Campus will help equip laboratories, provide state-of-the-art classrooms, strengthen industry partnerships, and offer students the latest in technology-related curricula.

“Oregon Institute of Technology provides Oregon with the talent to develop new products and services in the applied sciences and in professions such as civil engineering, renewable energy engineering, dental hygiene, radiology, vascular technology, communication studies, management, and more,” commented Robin Thompson, interim vice president of Development at Oregon Tech.. Gaining more support for Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville Campus, will help the state increase the number of well-educated and skilled graduates. It’s an investment in the future of Oregon.”

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