Building the future: Skanska completes Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation at University of Portland

Press release 1/23/2024 7:00 AM EST
Shiley-Marcos Center

PORTLAND, OR – Skanska, a leading global construction and development firm, announced the completion and opening of the 43,800-square-foot Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation at the University of Portland (UP). The new center aims to foster innovation and discovery in academia by offering the tools and spaces needed for future learning and invention.

The center is designed by Opsis Architecture, with construction management by Skanska.

“This once-in-a-lifetime project required extraordinary expertise from the design and construction perspectives. The complexity of the site grade to the location nestled among other important campus facilities brought opportunities that challenged us to build something never before created. We brought this innovation center to life by using innovative building principles that prioritized sustainability,” said Joe Schneider, senior vice president and account manager at Skanska USA.

The $40 million center aims to be a beacon of discovery and a leading learning environment to grow the engineering and creative learning of present and future generations at the urban university. Each of the building’s four levels house invention, discovery, and testing spaces, with the hallmarks comprising the Propulsion and Combustion lab, shop spaces for fabrication and manufacturing of materials including electronics, machines, woodworking, welding, and art-making, as well as digital media lab space. Level two will feature Partner Suites, as the home base for industry collaborations with Daimler Trucks North America, Tektronix and Hyster-Yale.

The innovatively conceived center also leads the way in sustainability and will pursue LEED Gold certification, housing the campus’s 43.6kW first-ever solar array to meet as much as 24% of the center’s energy requirements. Cross-laminated timber formed the structure as well as inside ceiling, and the expelled gases from the test labs will be ventilated and ultimately repurposed for radiant building heating. Expansive windows optimize daylight to curtail energy use by lessening artificial light needs. Site restoration ensured new sewer filling stations were installed to support the center and four surrounding buildings.

“The launch of our new Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation is a truly historic moment in the life of our University,” said UP President Robert D. Kelly, Ph.D. “Here on The Bluff, we’re committed to providing transformational, hands-on education that blends art and science, faith and reason, and service and leadership. This new building will allow us to elevate this commitment to new heights. We are deeply grateful for the vision and leadership of Donald and Darlene Shiley, and to all who made this extraordinary new building possible.”

Darlene Marcos Shiley donated $10 million in initial seed funding to inspire the Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation, built adjacent to the Shiley School of Engineering. Skanska also partnered with UP to build the Beauchamp Recreation & Wellness Center in 2015 and Lund Family Hall residences in 2016.

As with the future-thinking vision of the Shiley-Marcos Center for Design & Innovation, the Shiley School of Engineering likewise prepares innovative professionals with the technical excellence, social integrity, environmental consciousness, and leadership traits essential to identify and solve the world's problems. The two centers now co-own the mission to provide the best possible education to its students, enabling them to become competent practicing engineers and computer scientists – and for all students aspiring to channel their creative thinking, inventor curiosity, entrepreneurial spirit, and desire for success.