Neuberger Hall officially closed for its $70 million renovation, which means Portland State classrooms, departments, financial aid services and admissions offices previously housed in Neuberger have been relocated to pods, aka portable classrooms. The trailers will be used for the duration of the renovation, slated to finish by fall of 2019.
Western Hemlock on SW Park and Jackson, Ponderosa Pine on SW 4th and Lincoln and Douglas Fir on SW 12th and Market comprise the three new trailer pod sites.
The trailers come fully carpeted and equipped with projectors, windows and regular desks used in other buildings on campus. Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir include bathrooms that require a PSU ID card to access.
“I don’t mind them. They’re definitely not ideal but it’s better than nothing,” said student Elise Stinnett, who is taking a class in Western Hemlock this term.
Some students and professors complained that the thin trailer walls cannot insulate classrooms from neighboring trailers or the busy streets outside. Some pods also came without whiteboards. However, according to Project Manager Cameron Patterson from PSU Capital Projects and Construction, six new whiteboards will be installed in classrooms next week.
“I’m not excited about paying tuition and getting banished to trailers, but I think that the temporary buildings are better than the Parkmill building, which is still horribly inaccessible,” said Devon Roberts, another student taking a class in Western Hemlock.
PSU’s Parkmill building, located on SW Park Ave. and SW Mill St., has neither elevators nor ramps. Second-floor classrooms are only accessible by narrow staircases. In contrast, each pod is fitted with an accessible, non-slip steel ramp.
More information about the Neuberger renovation is listed on the project’s web page.