Oregon State University – Cascades announced it will proceed with the purchase of 46 acres of property in Bend that adjoins the university’s new campus currently under construction.
The announcement was made at a meeting of OSU-Cascades’ board of advisors.
“The potential addition of this property has been considered and discussed publicly for some time,” said Becky Johnson, OSU-Cascades vice president. “This purchase demonstrates Oregon State’s commitment to fully bring higher education to Central Oregon and serve 3,000 to 5,000 students by 2025.”
The property being purchased is located along Southwest Chandler Avenue and is the location of a pumice mine. The purchase follows the completion of a due diligence period that included title, environmental, geotechnical and engineering reviews. Additional evaluations included a space analysis, land use review and initial design conceptualizations.
The property sits adjacent to OSU-Cascades’ campus, a 10-acre site now under construction that will open in September and can serve up to 1,890 students, faculty and staff.
“Expanding our campus onto this property also supports Oregon’s land use goals of increasing density rather than sprawl,” said Johnson. “This type of development will promote alternative transportation modes, and we are committed to extending transit to other Central Oregon communities so that they can easily access the new campus.”
Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning at OSU-Cascades, said the topography of the former pumice mine provides innovative design opportunities. She said the university will evaluate proposals from design and engineering firms to create a long range development plan for the expanded campus.
Purchase of the pumice mine property was approved by the former State Board of Higher Education in 2013.
The property will be purchased for $7,963,000. In addition, Oregon State will pay $11,931 in closing costs and $131,500 in fees for security services and for extending the due diligence period.
Meanwhile, an expanded community engagement and campus planning process involving 80 community members has been underway since November. That process is exploring considerations for the new campus including sustainability, health and wellness, community integration, and arts, culture, and enrichment.
The university planning process also will consider the option of OSU-Cascades adding a nearby 76-acre Deschutes County landfill to the campus footprint. A non-binding Letter of Intent between Deschutes County and OSU-Cascades provides for a two-year a framework for exploring the viability of reclaiming the former demolition landfill as part of the OSU-Cascades campus.