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Oregon Sustainability Center Update

Pete Springer/OPB

One issue that state lawmakers neglected to tackle in their short 2012 session was the Oregon Sustainability Center. Back in January, we discussed elements of the project, including its “net-zero” feature — meaning the building would produce as much energy as it uses. It would be dedicated to research into clean tech, among other uses. Its estimated cost is approximately $62 million.

Advocates say the center would be much more than a building. It would also work as a laboratory, educational facility, and a job creator. Opponents counter that it’s an expensive boondoggle that will do nothing to draw businesses to the city during difficult economic times.

The state was on the hook for $32 million of the total bill, but the legislature neglected to authorize that funding during last month’s session. Now, the future of the building is uncertain, but supporters say they are looking to private backers to make up for the loss of funds.

Do you have connection with the Oregon Sustainability Center? What’s the appropriate role for such a center? What questions do you have about the project?

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