Pride Center renovations to be completed this November

Construction of the renovated Pride Center on the southeast side of the OSU campus on Sept. 11.
Construction of the renovated Pride Center on the southeast side of the OSU campus on Sept. 11.
Jason May

I remember the first time I stepped into the Pride Center on the Oregon State University campus. Between the charming staff members and the cozy rooms, I was enveloped in a sense of safety, and it quickly became my go-to spot on campus.

Four years later, I found myself standing in the bare bones of the building I once knew. As I explored the hollow construction site in the sweltering afternoon, I began to feel a new sense of wonder and anticipation for the place that I knew I would soon call my safe space.

The Pride Center has been under renovation since August of 2022. Located at 1553 SW A ave on the outskirts of campus, the cultural center has been a home to LGBTQ+ students since its official opening back in October 11, 2004.

According to Cindy Konrad, Center Director for the Pride center, the renovations were necessary as the original 100-year-old building did not have the space or accessibility to properly hold meetings, events and activities.

The renovations will increase the capacity of the building and add more means of accessibility, allowing the center to provide an overall more inclusive environment for students.

The original building has not been torn down, but rather extended upon: There will be a grand gathering room, kitchen and dining room and an ADA accessible patio on both sides of the building.

According to Eric Beeler, SEE director of operations, the $3.3 million dollar project is set to be completed in November of 2023. Tentative move-in date will occur over winter break of 2023 from the Student Experience Center, where the Pride Center currently lives.

However, there have been some concerns regarding the new Pride Center renovations, as some students prefer the current SEC location.

“Having the Pride Center be at the SEC location has been an absolute treasure,” said Guadalupe Maria Juarez Ceja, environmental science major at OSU. “Being able to pop in between study sessions or classes has been a life saver. The comforting space with lovely people around is so nurturing and healing! Furthermore, the high visibility of its location on campus and having visible flags on the windows made me feel seen, empowered, and ecstatic! With the Pride Center returning to its renovationed location, losing that visibility and access is disheartening. I’m happy and excited about the renovations and the improved space, but it’ll be sad to see the SEC location go.”

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