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The atrium area of the Millar Library at Portland State University
Portland State University
Published: 16 August 2017

Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation Wednesday allocating $51 million in state bonds to help build a $100-million academic and health center on the PSU downtown campus.

The building at Southwest Fourth Avenue and Montgomery Street will house PSU’s Graduate School of Education, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, a Portland Community College dental clinic and offices for the City of Portland.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has characterized the project as vital to Oregon higher education and an unprecedented collaboration between the city and Portland’s three public institutions.

At 200,000 square feet and up to nine stories tall, the building will also have a dental clinic and low-cost mental health services for the public. It also will feature ground-floor retail and restaurants. Construction is set to begin this fall with completion scheduled for 2020. 

Education leaders praised the governor and the Legislature for their capital investment that made the project a reality.

OHSU-PSU School of Public Health Dean David Bangsberg said their support “will enable Portland’s first public health school to have a permanent home to educate tomorrow’ leaders and help solve some of society’s most vexing health issues.”

Randy Hitz, a recently retired PSU Graduate School of Education dean who worked for years on plans to develop a new home for the school, expressed his gratitude to both state and university leaders to support the project that “will be a boost in maintaining and expanding the high quality instruction and research from GSE faculty.”

PSU’s Graduate School of Education produces more K-12 teachers, educators and administrators than any other university in Oregon.   

Besides state bonds, the building will be financed jointly from PSU, OHSU, PCC and the City of Portland. Prosper Portland, formerly known as the Portland Development Commission, is donating the land for the project, which is now a campus parking lot.    

OHSU-PSU School of Public Health was created in July 2016 to educate the next generation of public health leaders to confront and combat the underlying causes of health disparity throughout Oregon. The school is currently housed in multiple locations at PSU and OHSU and has enrolled more than 1,200 undergraduates and 250 graduate students pursing degrees in 16 public health programs.

PSU’s Graduate School of Education prepares more K-12 teachers, administrators and educators in Oregon than any other institution in the state. The school also trains mental health counselors and houses a community counseling clinc that provides low-cost mental health services to more than 1,100 people a year. It has been located in temporary space since the School of Business Administration renovation and expansion began two years ago.

PCC’s dental program and dental clinic will move from the Sylvania Campus to the second floor of the Fourth and Montgomery building. Relocating are Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene and Dental Laboratory Technology, all high-demand oral health care specitalites capable for serving more than 130 students a year. The dental clinic currently treats about 2,000 patients a year.

For more information, contact Kenny Ma, PSU Director of Media and Public Relations, at 503 725-8789 or kenma@pdx.edu.


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