Oregon State University is moving ahead with plans to build a $50 million expansion to house its marine science initiative in a tsunami inundation zone in Newport despite warnings from a state geologist that the site could make it vulnerable to a major earthquake and put it in the path of a subsequent tsunami.
President Ed Ray, the dean of Oregon public university presidents, believes the 100,000 square foot expansion at the mouth of the Yaquina Bay will be a “national and global showcase” for seismic design standards.
OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center sits at about 15 to 18 feet above sea level.
The school needs final approval from the City of Newport to start construction, which could begin next year.
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