Portland, OR.  Portland State University (PSU) business students have a new home. After a $64 million renovation and expansion, the campus facility is now called the Karl Miller Center. The ribbon cutting on September 19th was a chance for those who helped make it happen to celebrate, including former PSU President Wim Wiewel, Rick and Erika Miller (Rick is the grandson of Karl Miller) PSU President Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi, and the Dean of the School of Business, Cliff Allen.

The 143,000-square-foot building nearly triples the business school’s previous footprint and occupies a new space at the heart of the campus. The building has 21 classrooms and 10 project or meeting spaces.

Over 500 people came out to celebrate the new facility.

No student money was used for the design or construction of the Karl Miller Center. As much as $24 million came from private donors, and the remainder, $40 million was from state-backed bonds. Rick Miller, a 1991 business alum, and his wife, Erika, made a $9 million gift to help fund the expansion. The building is named for Rick’s grandfather, Karl Miller, a World War II veteran, firefighter and entrepreneur.

“The design of the building is truly stunning. The smooth metal exterior underscores the reflective relationship between the Portland business community and the School,” said Dean Cliff Allen, PSU’s School of Business. “In addition, the interior design is open and inviting as well as doubling our footprint. This includes the creation of common areas for a student engagement and a greater sense of community.”

From PSU:

The project’s key players include PSU; the architectural collaboration of Behnisch Architekten and SRG Partnership; general contractor Skanska USA; and trade partners who all worked together to help the long-standing vision for a business community “home” to take root and grow in the Karl Miller Center.

Achieving LEED Platinum, the highest international rating for building sustainability, has always been the goal for all parties, which underscores the School’s commitment to environmentally responsible education. Sustainable features include passive cooling in the new addition, and many of the strategies were chosen to align with community interests and expectations.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar siding was selected for the exterior of the new addition because it meets the sustainability objectives of the project and is rated by the Forest

Stewardship Council.  Advancing the learning environment – the vision of the building to create community and public study spaces – was realized by the unique and open design with work bars and large open spaces. The goal was to provide an environment in which learning happens everywhere and at all times, not just within the classroom.

Funding for the Karl Miller Center

Building Specs

  • 143,000 square feet (100,000 sf renovation, 43,000 sf addition), increasing the business school’s footprint more than 172 percent.
  • Twenty-one classrooms — three times more than in the existing building.
  • Ten project and team rooms that meet the advanced technological needs of our students.
  • Four industry-specific centers to support the diverse interests of our future business leaders.
  • A vibrant and active atrium with crisscrossing bridges and stairs, surrounded by study spaces.
  • High-quality offices for our award-winning faculty and staff.
  • A state-of-the-art LEED Platinum facility that will continue to attract and serve top talent from around the world.
  • Centralized business school activities and classes.
  • A suspended tree sculpture of Alaskan Yellow Cedar spans from level 3 up to level 5.
  • 5 green roofs on the project include two occupied terraces on levels 4 and 5 of the pavilion.

Karl Miller Center History

The Karl Miller Center was originally built in two phases between 1979 and 1989. Completion of the second half, then called the Professional Schools Building II (now Business Administration), occurred May 30, 1989. Professional Schools Building I was constructed for the Graduate School of Education in 1979 and retained that name until shortly before the Business Administration building opened. The architectural firm for both halves was Yost-Grube-Hall, although the 1979 structure was designed by an earlier incarnation of the firm, Campbell-Yost-Grube Architects. Starting in 2015, a third addition was begun, and once complete, it will create a new dramatic entrance to the School, activate the building along Sixth Avenue, as well as modernize and upgrade the existing structures.

About Portland State University’s School of Business

Portland State University’s School of Business is renowned for its leading-edge research and world-class faculty. Located in the heart of Portland, Oregon, this urban campus takes a realistic and holistic approach to learning with a focus on sustainability, economic impact, and social and environmental stewardship. PSU’s School of Business offers eight master’s degrees, seven undergraduate concentrations, four minors, and multiple certificate programs, all with real-world applicability. US News & World Report ranks its AACSB-accredited undergraduate and graduate business programs among the best in the nation.

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