Peavy Hall: past and present

The Baro Staff

There is a clean, deep pit in the place where Peavy Hall, the former home of the OSU College of Forestry, once stood. Gone are the offices and auditoriums. The wood samples in the halls and grove at the center of the building are no more. But, like a forest after a wildfire, something new is growing from the ashes of the old.

The plan is for a new, modernized Peavy Hall to be built on the site of the old. The deconstruction of Peavy was completed earlier this month, and construction of the new building will commence in June. The new Peavy Hall is anticipated to be finished by fall 2018.

By 2016, the old Peavy Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, was showing its age. Although renovating the building was seriously considered, it was eventually decided that the best option was to deconstruct the old Peavy and raise a new one in its place.

“We want to provide current and future students with a transformative educational experience across all of our degree programs,” said Michael Collins, the director of marketing and communications at the OSU College of Forestry via email. “The complex will feature expanded and innovative classrooms and laboratories, as well as new public spaces supporting student learning and continuing education programs.”

Although the old Peavy Hall is no more, it was not simply demolished and thrown away.

“Peavy Hall was deconstructed by removing and properly disposing of hazardous materials (primarily asbestos and lead), reutilizing primary and secondary structural elements for use in the new complex and recycling concrete, steel/rebar and the remaining wood elements,” Collins said via email. “We wanted to respect the Peavy wood structure heritage and responsibly decommission the building to minimize waste. Approximately 3 percent of the building mass was removed as hazardous materials, 20 percent of the building mass will be repurposed into new Peavy, 65 percent was sorted and recycled and the remaining 12 percent landfilled. Interior furnishings were sold for reuse.”

The old Peavy Hall was technically larger than the planned new construction, at 84,000 square feet compared to the new Peavy’s planned 80,000. However, the new Peavy Hall is designed to maximize efficiency and flexibility of usable space, as well as accessibility to all users and ensure the well-being of students and staff.

In addition, a new building, the A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, will also be constructed alongside the new Peavy Hall. This new building will have 15,000 square feet of space, which when combined with the new Peavy Hall’s space, means that the upcoming Oregon Forestry Science Complex will have 95,000 square feet of usable space.

Currently, the OSU College of Forestry is operating out of Richardson Hall, Strand Hall, Snell Hall and the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Administration Building. Despite the disruption caused by having to move out of Peavy, the College of Forestry staff is excited about the construction projects and the new Peavy Hall.

“We are definitely excited about the project,” Collins said. “The positive, long-term impact of the new complex will far outweigh the short-term disruption we face during construction. When completed, the complex will really benefit our students, expand the opportunities they have and highlight how graduates of our programs are leaders in creating sustainable forest practices, building resilient ecosystems and developing innovative forest products.”

Was this article helpful?