Oregon Governor John A. Kitzhaber announced the designation of Western Oregon University’s new College of Education (CoE) as a demonstration project under Executive Order 12-16. This order promotes innovative use of wood products as a green building material, encourages innovative uses of wood products and increases markets for Oregon wood products. The new education building will feature creative usage of wood through wood moment frames and timber hybrid structures, as well as promote the use of cross-laminated timber.
WOU began the process of replacing the existing College of Education building in fall 2012 with legislative authorization for the project given during the 2013 session. The facility will be designed to support the needs of a growing student population with 21 technology-enhanced teaching and learning spaces and an overall size of 59,000 square feet. The new building will be constructed just north of Hamersly Library, on the east side of Monmouth Ave. It will be designed to achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards and has an estimated budget of $18.6 million.
“I’m so excited about the possibilities this new building brings,” said Dr. Mark Girod, interim dean. “It will facilitate internal collaboration and external partnerships in ways that will improve the preparation of future teachers, provide more seamless services to WOU students, and allow WOU to better serve Oregonians.”
The new facility will feature a technology-enriched environment that will provide frequent hands-on experiences with 21st century teaching tools, which include hand-held devices, SMART Boards, avatar simulations, and live-streaming connections with real classrooms in partnership with Salem-Keizer School District and other surrounding partner districts. It will also allow the Divisions of Teacher Education, Special Education, and Health and Physical Education to be in one place, enabling more collaboration and coordination across programs. Currently, the three divisions are spread across campus.
About the College of Education
The CoE is known for its award-winning and nationally accredited programs in teacher preparation and received the 2010 Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In 2008, the National Center for Teacher Quality named WOU as one of only 10 programs in the country that “met the mark” for outstanding preparation for teaching elementary mathematics. In 2011-12, WOU was the second largest preparer of new teachers in Oregon.