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'A once in a generation opportunity': UO seeks $100M in bonds for new science campus

"We're asking for the authority to have $100 million in bonds that the University will then match with $100 million of our own investment," explained Dr. Patrick Phillips, the center's acting director. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon will seek authority from the Oregon Legislature to issue $100 million in construction bonds to support the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

"We're asking for the authority to have $100 million in bonds that the University will then match with $100 million of our own investment," explained Dr. Patrick Phillips, the center's acting director.

Phil and Penny Knight donated $500 million to start the $1 billion project.

Phillips plans to speak to the Senate Education Committee on Thursday in Salem.

The Center remains on track to break ground this fall on two 75,000 square foot buildings. Construction would begin in Spring 2018 with a goal to open the Center in 2020.

Phillips is scheduled to give a free talk Tuesday, May 9, at Shedd Institute at 7 p.m. entitled “Science at the Nexus of Life and Death.”

He’ll talk about what research the center will likely be involved in for his specialty: the genetics of stress resistance and healthy aging for people getting old.

"Really the goal is to maintain health as long as possible late in life," he said.

Phillips predicts construction of the Center would "attract new companies to Eugene that really want to be part of this new effort and take advantage of the scientific infrastructure that we're building."

"I call it a once in a generation opportunity," he added, "and for me, it's a once in a career opportunity to be involved in something like this."

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