Oregon State University-Cascades’ second academic building has a design, purpose and expected completion date: the fall of 2021.

Renderings for the $24.5 million building, dubbed Academic Building 2, were unveiled at an open house Friday evening. The 50,000-square-foot structure — the fourth to be built on the Bend campus — will be primarily used for science, engineering and arts purposes. It will be designed to use as little energy as possible.

Lisa Petterson, the project manager for Portland-based architect team SRG Partnership, which is designing the building, said most large buildings typically use concrete and metal. But OSU-Cascades’ newest building will be built using timber sourced from the Pacific Northwest.

Petterson said building with timber not only boosts the Pacific Northwest economy, but it also is more aesthetically pleasing and inviting.

“There’s been lots of studies that say when you use natural material, it helps people’s ability for concentration,” she said. “It just makes a nicer building.”

Petterson said the building will have many energy-saving facets, like windows that will let in natural lighting and can be opened to move fresh air throughout the building, not just in one room. Occupancy sensors — which turn things off when not being used — will control the building’s lights and its mechanical systems, Petterson said.

The building’s heating and cooling system will use a water-based system, which Petterson says will use less energy. The system moves hot and cold water through the walls of the building to change their temperatures. It’s similar to how convection ovens and freezers operate, Petterson said.

To reduce water usage, the building will have separate pipes for potable, drinking water and recycled water that will be used in toilets.

“Bend is a drier climate, so we thought, why do we use potable water to flush toilets?” Petterson said. “You don’t need water that’s of a drinkable standard (in toilets).”

The building will host a variety of academic subjects, centering on what OSU-Cascades calls “STEAM”: science, technology, engineering, art and math. Kelly Sparks, OSU-Cascades’ associate vice president of finance and strategic planning, said the building will host the college’s recently created Arts, Media and Technology degree program, as well as its kinesiology and engineering departments. A physical therapy doctorate program will be in the building, once it’s ready for students within the next five years, Sparks said.

Alongside its nine classrooms, the building will have three flex labs, which can be used for a variety of subjects, rooms for projects and spaces for engineering, media and outdoor product classes. Some of the spaces will include hands-on equipment like sewing machines, laser cutters and 3D printers and will be open for community members to use, Sparks said.

The building is one piece of a massive construction effort on OSU-Cascades’ campus. Partially filling in a 100-foot-deep pumice mine began this summer and will be followed by construction of a 300-stall campus parking lot, wider sidewalks around the campus’ edge and a roundabout off-campus at the busy nearby intersection of SW Colorado Avenue and SW Columbia Street.

The mine filling began this summer, and will likely finish in the spring of 2020, Sparks said. The building, which will be built on the rim of that mine, will break ground that spring and hopefully be ready for students to start classes by the fall of 2021, Sparks said.

The building should allow OSU-Cascades to welcome up to 500 more students to its campus, and would be a boon for expanding the university’s engineering programs, which don’t have the equipment necessary for certain projects, Sparks said.

“There’s only so many seats in every classroom,” she said. “Once those get filled up, we have to add a section of a class. This allows us to grow our enrollment.”

Last fall, OSU-Cascades had a total of 1,259 undergraduate and graduate students on its campus, according to the Oregon Department of Education.

Kristi Miller, a senior at OSU-Cascades studying social science, said she felt “really bummed” that she wouldn’t get to use the new building. The Redmond resident said adding more student capacity and courses at the university was a good move.

“I feel like it is a long time coming,” Miller, 50, said. “I’ve lived in Central Oregon for years, and we needed this bad.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7854, jhogan@bendbulletin.com