Charlie Arvidson

Charlie Arvidson, manager of new construction. (Photo by Steve Dodge)

Six Years, Six New Buildings

Charlie Arvidson worked only six years and five months at Pacific University, but he left a legacy of work that continues to impact future generations.

Hired in July 1, 2004 as manager of new construction by former University President Phil Creighton, Arvidson oversaw some $92 million in construction of four buildings in Forest Grove and two in Hillsboro plus the athletic complex in Lincoln Park and tennis courts on Tom Reynolds Field.

The Forest Grove buildings include Burlingham and Gilbert residence halls, Berglund Hall, which houses the School of Education, and the University Library. The two other buildings, Creighton Hall and HPC2, house College of Health Professions programs in the newly named Health and Education District in Hillsboro.

In addition, Arvidson also worked on remodeling work at Pacific’s Portland optometry clinic, The Pulse student lounge at the University Center, the first Price Hall remodel of its upper floor and the relocation of the Green Environmental Machine (GEM) from Reynolds Field. The GEM aids in recycling materials for the University.

President Creighton, who served at Eastern Oregon University as its president prior to coming to Pacific, brought Arvidson to the University after noting he had done a great job for three years at EOU on its construction projects. “I was more than happy to work for him again,” said Arvidson.

Arvidson left Pacific in the fall of 2010, not because of retirement, but, as he noted, because there is no additional new construction due soon at the University.

“I miss most the people I had the privilege of associating with while doing my work,” said Arvidson. “I miss the daily contact with people and the challenge of solving problems for them, along with the challenges of constructing multi-million dollar buildings and sports facilities.

“It’s hard to all of a sudden stop doing something you really enjoy, along with working with others who share that same enthusiasm,” he added.

Among the moments Arvidson remembers as being most memorable is receiving the University’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) award given by the United States Green Building Council for the University Library construction. “We worked long and hard for that first one,” he said. The University now has six buildings which have received LEED certification, four in Forest Grove and two in Hillsboro. Five of those are Gold Certified with the Library having a rating of “Certified.” Arvidson worked on all of those buildings as construction manager.

Even with all the construction work, said Arvidson, there were times for practical jokes on the “boss.”

“There was the time gremlins filled my office top to bottom, side to side, with boxes while I was away on vacation,” he said. However, he added,  “The culprits were identified and photographed for their records.”

-- Wanda Laukkanen