UO’s new $1 billion Knight Science Campus will be built under a PLA


Artists rendering of the planned Knight Science center

The Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council (OSBCTC) has signed a project labor agreement (PLA) with Hoffman Construction and the University of Oregon for the new Knight Campus for Accelerated Scientific Impact. The $1 billion facility will be constructed in four phases over the next 10 years.

The Knight Campus will support more than 1,300 construction jobs during peak construction, and directly contribute nearly $100 million in annual economic activity to Oregon’s economy, UO officials said in a press release.

When fully operational, the Knight Campus will support more than 750 permanent jobs.

“The building trades has never had a PLA with the Oregon University System,” said Tim Frew, executive secretary of the OSBCTC. “This is a great opportunity to show what we’re about, and that we can be good partners … and it will improve our market share in Lane County.”

The Knight Campus will consist of three new 70,000-square-foot buildings immediately adjacent to UO’s current science complex in Eugene. The campus will be outfitted with cutting-edge labs, research facilities, prototyping tools, imaging facilities, human subject interaction spaces and an innovation hub. Phase one will include two buildings totalling 160,000 square feet, joined together by a glass terrace with a pedestrian bridge connecting the buildings to the main campus. Total cost is $225 million. It is scheduled for an early 2020 opening.

Frew said UO balked at the building trades’ proposal for a master PLA, which would have required all subcontractors to be signatory with a union. The sides eventually came to terms on a deal that combines language from various project labor agreements—with much of it modeled after one the Columbia-Pacific Building Trades signed with Multnomah County on the new courthouse now under construction in Portland.

There is language in the PLA limiting nonunion subcontractors from using more than 50 percent plus one of their core workers on the project. The remainder of their employees will have to be dispatched by the respective union craft, if workers are available. Non-union subcontractors that hire union-referred employees will have to adhere to the wage and fringe benefits package of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise, construction wages and benefits will be determined under state prevailing wage laws.

There are also requirements for subcontractors to utilize women, minorities, veterans, and apprentices, and be registered with a recognized apprenticeship training program, Frew said.

Nike founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny donated $500 million towards development and construction of the new facility. UO approved $225 million, and the Oregon Legislature okayed $50 million in state bonds during the 2017 session (with possibly $40 million more to be authorized this session). The university still must raise $500 million from donors.

The PLA also was signed by the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters.

Two organizations affiliated with OSBCTC did not agree to some of the language in the PLA and did not sign off on it. They are Plumbers and Fitters Local 290, and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 5, which includes Painters & Tapers Local 10, Floor Coverers Local 1236, and Glass Workers Local 740.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read more