State Board of Higher Education approves UO request for EMU renovation

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The State Board of Higher Education voted on Friday to approve a University of Oregon request for the chancellor to ask Gov. John Kitzhaber to add the Erb Memorial Union project to the proposed capital projects list that will be forwarded to the legislature.

UO President Michael Gottfredson, ASUO President Laura Hinman, UO Vice President for Student Affair Robin Holmes and UO Vice President of Finance and Administration Jamie Moffit all appeared before the board in support of the request.

UO students voted in November to approve a fee that would support a $100 million renovation of the EMU. If the project is approved by the State Board of Higher Education and the 2013 Oregon Legislature, groundbreaking could occur in the fall of 2014, and the building could be completed a little more than two years later. The student vote authorized a $69 per term student fee to pay for the project.

EMU project will require an $8 million fund-raising campaign in order for the $69 per term student fee to cover the balance.

The state board voted on Friday to add a request of $84.3 million in bonding authority for the EMU project to the governor's capital projects list.

The Erb Memorial Union was built in the 1950s and expanded some 20 years later. It has been considered outdated and undersized for several years – and especially since a spike in student enrollment over the past few years.