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Governor, UO Reach Possible Deal For $40 Million For Science Campus

An artist's rendering of the University of Oregon's Knight science campus project.

An artist’s rendering of the University of Oregon’s Knight science campus project.

University of Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown and ­leaders of the University of Oregon have reached a mutually ­beneficial agreement that could result in an extra $40 million in state bonds in February for the UO’s new Knight science campus project.

Brown endorsed the UO’s ­financial ask in a letter to state lawmakers on Dec. 4, ­after the UO agreed to incorporate at least 20,000 board feet of cross-laminated timber in the first Knight campus buildings. Brown has aggressively promoted cross-laminated timber, a wood product used in building construction, as a possible job creator in rural Oregon. The product — a timber industry favorite — still is emerging, however, and has faced headwinds in being accepted in building codes as a substitute for steel or concrete in certain applications.

For the UO, Brown’s support means a ­better chance at getting ­legislative approval for its $40 million bond ask during the February 2018 ­session. Lawmakers voted for $50 million in bond funding to the Knight campus ­earlier this year, but that was only half of the UO’s $100 ­million ask.

Most of the money for the $1 billion Knight campus for science ­innovation is expected to come through private ­donations, including a $500 ­million gift, over 10 years, from Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny.

Read the full story at the Register-Guard.

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