In The Works

Renovations to Southern Oregon University’s Churchill building have begun. 


Renovations to one of the oldest buildings on campus have begun, making errands around Southern Oregon University a little more difficult for students.

The university’s Churchill building was constructed in 1926. Since then, there hasn’t been much opportunity for the university to renovate it, said Campus Planning and Sustainability Officer Larry Blake in an April interview prior to the start of renovations.

The building once housed the Foreign Language Department, Provost’s office and Payroll, which can now be found in a module near Central and Business Services, the second floor of the Computer Science Building and Britt Ballroom, respectively. The reconfiguration of the offices has caused a frenzy amongst students trying to locate the offices sent to various areas of campus.

Paige Jensen, a Payroll employee, had been in Churchill for 15 years prior to the move to Britt Ballroom. Paige described the move to Britt as different, “Considering many students walk in downstairs when they need to be upstairs in Britt for what they need and vice versa.”

The renovations will not affect the exterior of the building, which has become a face of SOU. Renovations will be made to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems along with a seismic retrofit to withstand an earthquake.

“Heating, plumbing, and electrical are 85 years (old),” Blake said. “They are beyond their useful service life.”

The university has acquired $5.9 million for Deferred Maintenance Seismic Remediation, consisting of lottery bond funds and loans from State Energy Loan Program. Lottery Bond funds do not need to be repaid, but funds from the loan program will have to be repaid by the university.

“The intent is to reduce the amount of maintenance, or maintenance that hasn’t been done in the past because of a lack of funds,” Blake said. “We’re hoping to offset the loans with the savings on energy.”

The renovations are anticipated to reduce carbon emissions and lower energy consumption affecting the Climate Action Plan (CAP), and enabling the campus to meet its emission reduction targets.

After the renovations, the building will meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard, meaning the building has met green building standards by optimizing structures design to minimize its energy use, according to Blake.

“It will improve the health and well-being of occupants by providing more access to daylight,” Blake said. “All of the credits have a benefit to society or the occupants.”

Plans for the re-opening of Churchill will happen in Fall or Winter term of 2012. Until then check with professors where their offices can be found. In addition lists have been posted of where to go, and where you may find the needed department or office.



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