City to vote on Oregon Sustainability Center's fate

The Portland City Council will vote next week on the fate of the Oregon Sustainability Center.

The Portland City Council will vote next week on the fate of the Oregon Sustainability Center.

The Portland City Council is prepping for a “critical” vote next Wednesday that could shape the Oregon Sustainability Center’s next phase.

The council will consider authorizing a commitment that would make the city owner of a share of the center, which is projected as one of the country’s first “living buildings” in that it would be built using local resources, conserve water and produce as much or more energy than it uses.

The agreement would call for the city, through the Portland Development Commission, to fund half of the projected $3 million in

engineering and architectural costs that would allow final design work on the building to continue. The Oregon University System would fund the other half.

The vote is scheduled a day before the center’s partners plan to meet with Oregon legislators in Salem. The two sides are preparing funding legislation for the project that could get a hearing during the state’s 2012 short session.

Lawmakers shelved any votes on bonding or other funding for the project during this year’s session.

Portland’s efforts on the project began in 2007. The Bullitt Foundation recently broke ground on a sustainability facility in Seattle.

“If we want to be at the cutting edge of clean technology and advanced manufacturing, as the city’s economic development strategy demands, our public and private sectors must come together and build projects like the Oregon Sustainability Center,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams in a statement. “We cannot maintain our leadership in this vital, growing sector by wringing hands and watching other cities take big risks and reap bigger rewards.

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@AndyGiegerich | agiegerich@bizjournals.com

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