From the bluff to the bank

Franz River Campus update

By William Seekamp and Andrew Gotshall | March 20, 2022 8:22pm
Aerial view of the Franz River Campus.
Media Credit: Andrew Gotshall / The Beacon

The WIllamette River is arguably as big a part of UP’s identity as the bluff itself — it’s part of UP’s logo. But for nearly all of UP’s 121 year existence, there has been a disconnect between the two.

“We talk about the bluff, but (the Franz River Campus) will take us from being on the bluff to actually being on the bank,” Jim Ravelli, vice president for University operations, said. 

Ravelli, who has been at UP for 13 years, is retiring at the end of March.

After more than 13 years since its purchase, millions of dollars spent cleaning up the former EPA designated Superfund site and years of construction, the Franz River Campus is beginning to resemble its final product. 

The Beacon toured the nearly completed new Physical Plant building with Associate Vice President for Facilities and Construction David Hobbs and discussed the status of river campus.

William Seekamp is the News and Managing Editor of The Beacon. He can be reached at