- Associated Press - Saturday, October 14, 2017

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - The University of Oregon is preparing to build a major new student advising and career center at the heart of its campus.

The $39 million building, named after the late Eugene businessman Don Tykeson and his wife, Willie, who contributed $10 million, also will include six classrooms and house the College of Arts and Sciences administrative offices on its upper floors.

Tykeson Hall’s key purpose is to place a significant number of the UO’s existing academic and career advisers in a central location to make those services more accessible for undergraduates, said Andrew Marcus, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Under the current, fragmented system, “students pretty quickly give up and just start talking to one other,” he said. “They don’t realize the services that are available to them.”

Construction on Tykeson Hall is expected to begin in December and last until the start of the 2019 academic year.

The building, designed by Portland firm Office 52, will feature “classic campus architecture” with “modern, spacious design,” according to UO officials.

It will total 64,000 square feet across five floors, including a below-ground level. The original plan was for a less expensive, 50,000-square-foot building, but it was expanded, at UO President Michael Schill’s direction, to provide more classroom and student advising space.

The new building will be wedged between Johnson Hall, the red brick home of the UO’s administration, and Chapman Hall, the hub of the school’s honors college, which is undergoing a $10.5 million renovation.

Tykeson Hall will replace a 42-spot parking lot now used by UO administrators. The university already has built a new, smaller replacement parking lot for administrators on the other side of Johnson Hall. “I don’t think students will even be aware the parking lot is gone,” Marcus said.

Noise during construction may prove disruptive; however, university officials warn, given the site’s central location near lots of classrooms and offices.

In addition to the Tykesons’ gift, the UO received $17 million in bonds from the Legislature in 2015 and other donations totaling $6.4 million. That leaves the university $5.6 million short of the project’s expected price tag, but Marcus said he doesn’t anticipate trouble plugging the gap.

The university hopes to use the building’s classrooms as a magnet for students and expose them to advisers available to them. The UO will schedule introductory composition and math classes, taken by about 9,000 students a year, for Tykeson Hall. “Just like in a grocery stores you put eggs and milk in the back of the store so that people have to walk through the aisles and look at the potato chips on the way there, we have classrooms to draw students into this building,” Marcus said.

Funnily enough, UO’s Tykeson Hall won’t be the only building with that name at an Oregon public university. The first academic building at Oregon State University’s Cascades Campus in Bend, which opened last year, also goes by Tykeson Hall. The Tykeson family has been a longtime supporter of OSU’s satellite campus project.

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