OSU-Cascades close to finalizing deal

University hopes to purchase 10-acre site soon

By Tyler Leeds / The Bulletin

Published Feb 5, 2014 at 12:01AM

Despite all the debate, meetings and task forces, Oregon State University-Cascades Campus has not yet purchased any land for its new four-year campus. Administrators say that will officially change today.

The university will finalize early today a $5 million deal for 10 acres near the intersection of Southwest Chandler Avenue and Century Drive. The university’s initial development will be located on this site, but OSU-Cascades also intends to purchase an adjacent, 46-acre site at a later date, pending a geotechnical review.

“Up until now we’ve been working on the programming of the buildings, focusing on the size of the classrooms and how to integrate technology and the newest pedagogical styles,” said Kelly Sparks, OSU-Cascades associate vice president for finance and strategic planning. “Now we’re able to really move ahead with the process of working with the design team to look at how the students will flow between buildings and where to place roadways, as well as how to develop a parking plan.”

Sparks said the next step will be to present members of the Campus and Expansion Advisory Committee, a volunteer group of faculty, residents and city and county officials, “a rough sketch preview of what we’re hoping to do on the site.”

The university plans to have three to four buildings on the 10-acre site, including student residences, classrooms, dining and retail.

Transportation planning will be a focus for the university, as the design team considers bike connectivity, the number and placement of parking spots and how to efficiently connect the new campus to the Graduate and Research Center, which is about a half-mile away on Southwest Columbia Street.

“We’ll collect feedback internally first and then move to our public input sessions on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28,” Sparks said. “After we incorporate that feedback, we hope to have our site application to the city the following week.”

The university hopes to close on the 46-acre site, which contains a former pumice mine, on Mar. 31, but Sparks said “there’s the possibility of a delay.”

“We’ve had preliminary conversations about the geotech’s report, but we want to do additional work to make sure we understand the stability of the canyon walls within that site.”

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, tleeds@bendbulletin.com