Why is renovation and expansion of the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) necessary?

  • The Erb Memorial Union is sized to serve a student body of about 16,000. Today the University of Oregon is home to over 24,000 students.
  • The building was constructed in the 1950s and expanded in the 1970s. The '70s section is inefficient from both a space use and a sustainability perspective.
  • The facility lacks many of the amenities, attributes, and student programming space found within modern student unions.
  • Navigating the EMU is confusing; the building lacks a logical layout of space, many student spaces are difficult to find, and accessibility to all spaces is lacking.
  • Systems and infrastructure are past their life span and deferred maintenance is estimated at $12 million.

What are the key highlights of the EMU renovation and expansion project?

  • Approximately 80,000 square feet of new space
  • 134,000 square feet of renovated space
  • New bike and pedestrian plaza with storefront student spaces along 13th Avenue
  • Dramatic and spacious new campus outdoor green space for casual use, programming, and ceremonies, such as graduation
  • Featured and expanded spaces for ASUO Multicultural Center and Student Unions
  • Substantial increase in student organization space
  • Active late night opportunities for fun and work
  • Bike Center with do-it-yourself repair shop, bike loans, and classes
  • 250-seat movie and multipurpose performance theater
  • Student Program Resource Center sufficient to serve hundreds of student groups
  • Smart building technology wired for modern performance and access
  • Campus pub and expanded food service venues
  • New and updated EMU program spaces for Craft Center, Outdoor Program and Bike Program, Cultural Forum, KWVA Radio, and Club Sports
  • Expanded public spaces where students can gather, study, use meeting spaces, and attend quality conferences

What is the total budget for construction of the EMU renovation/expansion project?

$95 million

How is this project being funded?

We are actively fundraising to raise $5 million in private donations to support the project. The remaining cost will be funded by student fees, including existing Student Building Fees and a new EMU Facility Fee.

How much is the new facility fee for the EMU renovation/expansion project?


When will the fee go into effect?

Fall 2014

Will my financial aid budget include the few facility fee?

Yes, student financial aid packages are based on a cost of attendance budget that includes all university tuition and fees, including the proposed EMU Facility Fee.

What is the timeline for this project?

The building design will be completed by Spring 2014. However, construction on phase one will begin January 2014. Project completion is scheduled for Summer 2016 with a Grand Opening Ceremony at the start of Fall Term 2016.

Why are fees being collected before the project is completed?

Collection of the facility fee will begin in Fall 2014. Revenue from the fee is necessary to pay bond debt incurred to cover design and construction costs.

Will the EMU be open during construction?

The exact plan for services during the renovation/expansion has yet to be determined and won’t be until the “construction path” through the building is established. The goal and priority is to provide EMU services at current or alternative locations as much as possible during construction. The project management team and key building stakeholders will work together to develop a transition plan that attempts to mitigate disruption to student programs, EMU programs, and services located in the building. The EMU Board, ASUO, and program leaders will be consulted throughout the process.

What sustainability efforts are being considered in the EMU renovation/expansion project?

The project will strive to be a state-of-the-art model for sustainable design that will substantially reduce the energy footprint of the existing dated facilities. We aspire to achieve at least LEED Gold Certification or better in the new student wing. Building materials will be recycled or reused where possible. Prioritized energy reduction strategies are:

  • Understanding our context: climate and typical energy use for our building
  • Energy load reductions: passive systems, day-lighting, building envelope
  • Right sizing & dual use: heat recovery
  • Target key systems/reduce energy load: active mechanical solutions, user engagement
  • Apply renewables

Are students involved in the planning/design process?

  • Student representatives serve on the Project User Group for the EMU. Project user groups are constituent based representative groups designed to work with architects and building users to make design decisions.
  • Student representatives serve on 22 different Subject Area Committees, working with the architects on designing specific areas (Multicultural Center and Student Unions, student office spaces and resource center, Womens’ Center, Student Media Center, Club Sports, Bike Center, Sustainability Center, meeting and multi-purpose rooms, pub, theater, Holden Center, Computer Lab, etc.).
  • The ASUO has also appointed a Student Design Steering Committee comprised entirely of students to work directly with the User Group.
  • The EMU Board meets with members of the User Group on a regular basis to provide suggestions and feedback.
  • A variety of public town hall presentations, design displays, and targeted outreach has been conducted and will continue throughout the design and construction process.
  • In November 2012, students approved an ASUO sponsored referendum in a special election supporting the EMU renovation and establishment of a new union fee not to exceed $69 per term.

Where can I find more information about the EMU Renovation/Expansion Project?

Like the EMU Facebook Page for regular posts about the project and information during construction. The Campus Planning and Real Estate department has information about the project on its website: http://pages.uoregon.edu/moxoby/EMU/EMU.html

Who can I contact if I have questions about the EMU Renovation/Expansion Project?

Laurie Woodward, EMU Director Erb Memorial Union 541-346-6063 lauriew@uoregon.edu
Dan Geiger, Renovation Manager Erb Memorial Union 541-346-0636 dgeiger@uoregon.edu
Gregg Lobisser, Assistant Vice President for Capital Projects Division of Student Life 541-346-1143 lobisser@uoregon.edu
Martina Bill, Project Planner Campus Planning and Real Estate 541-346-5593 mbill@uoregon.edu