by Tracy Loew
December 13th, 2013
Western Oregon University’s new College of Education will serve as a demonstration model for the innovative use of wood products.
The building has earned a first-of-a-kind designation under Executive Order 12-16, signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber in October 2012.
“Western’s new Education building is exactly the kind of project this Executive Order was intended to encourage,” Kitzhaber said. “By increasing the market for products from sustainably managed forests in Oregon, we strengthen our economy and support long-term environmental health.”
The Executive Order directed the state Department of Administrative Services to identify at least two nonresidential state capital construction projects that feature wood products in the design and construction.
It also called for a number of reports from the Oregon Department of Forestry and other states.
The aim is to increase the market for Oregon wood products in new and existing domestic and international markets.
“The effort is to advance the value-added production of materials in the state to reach broad economic goals and interests,” said John Tokarczyk, policy analyst for the Oregon Department of Forestry.
The new College of Education will feature Oregon wood products in both traditional and innovative applications.
Oregon’s forest sector employs about 76,000 people and contributes an estimated $12.7 billion per year to the state’s economy.
Officials in the Governor’s office could not immediately be reached for contact.