Scheduled campus power outages planned for grid updates

A Pacific Power warning sign hangs on a fence. Pacific Power is the company responsible for serving Oregon State University’s power needs.

Vada Shelby, News Contributor

Students and staff at Oregon State University have been affected by sporadic power outages over the past month, which interrupted some classes. 

Steve Clark, vice president of University Relations and Marketing, confirmed the university is working alongside Pacific Power, OSU’s electricity provider, to find the root of the problem and solve it. According to Clark, part of the plan to fix the power outages includes planned power outages across campus. 

“There will be planned power system updates beginning Thursday, March 26 starting at 5 a.m. and lasting until Saturday, March 28 at 7 a.m.,” Clark said via email. “During that time, Pacific Power will replace electrical switches and cables that feed OSU buildings along SW Jefferson Way. This is the last update along Jefferson Way, while upgrades will occur to switches and cables along Campus Way in June.”

Fourth-year biochemistry and molecular biology major Nicholas Kostelecky has been in two power outages on campus this term. Kostelecky said the first power outage he experienced was in the Agricultural and Life Sciences building and didn’t seem to have a large impact on anything going on at that time. The second power outage Kostelecky experienced, however, occured in Milam Hall while a group was giving a presentation. Although the power outage only lasted a few seconds, it disabled the Wifi access and the group presenting was unable to finish their presentation after the power outage. 

“For the rest of class the professor continued his lecture by drawing what he was teaching because he did not have access to his lecture slides due to the lack of WiFi,” Kostelecky said via email. “This made class difficult because he isn’t the best at drawing so it was a little distracting and confusing.”

According to Clark, the buildings listed below will experience two-hour power outages on March 26 and March 28. 

  • Cauthorn Hall 
  • Hawley Hall 
  • Poling Hall 
  • Weatherford Hall 
  • Snell Hall 
  • McAlexander Fieldhouse
  • Kerr Administration Building
  • Callahan Hall 
  • McNary Dining Hall
  • McNary Hall
  • Wilson Hall
  • Pharmacy Building
  • Hattie Redmond Women and Gender Center
  • Joyce Collin Furman Hall
  • Gladys Valley Gymnastics Center
  • Buxton Hall 
  • West Dining Hall 
  • Heckart Lodge 
  • Reed Lodge 
  • Langton Hall
  • Waldo Hall

According to the OSU Power Grid Updates webpage, Fairbanks Hall and Moreland Hall will be closed during this time.

Tom Gauntt, spokesperson for Pacific Power, did not respond to comment by the time of publication.

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