By Christine Coffin, OSU-Cascades
The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals has cleared the way for Oregon State University – Cascades to move forward on construction of the 10-acre campus in Bend. A decision dated June 8 makes it possible for OSU-Cascades to welcome students to the region’s long-awaited four-year university campus during the 2016-2017 academic year.
“This represents a victory for higher education in Central Oregon and is particularly significant for our current and future students,” said Becky Johnson, OSU-Cascades vice president. “We will build a west side campus that integrates well within the community.”
While OSU-Cascades will welcome its first freshman class this September, groundbreaking for the new campus has been delayed by more than a year after opponents unsuccessfully filed appeals with the city and then the state land use board. Today’s LUBA decision affirms that both Bend city officials and OSU-Cascades properly followed the land use planning process.
Since 2013, more than 3,500 Central Oregon residents have attended public and civic meetings focused on the campus. Hundreds have shared ideas and advice at those meetings or through their participation in OSU-Cascades advisory groups.
“As we move to the next step, we will continue to invite and address the public’s thoughts and concerns,” Johnson said. “We are grateful for the support and work of so many people who helped us get to this point, including the Bend City Council and City staff, our Central Oregon legislators, community members and the Campus Expansion Advisory Committee volunteers.”