By Joseph Ditzler

The Bulletin

Contractor crews labored into early September on the OSU-Cascades campus, right down to the finishing touches, like the white warning blocks at crosswalks on SW Chandler Avenue.

The lot where ponderosa pines once stood bears little resemblance to its appearance just a year ago. Three new structures along with accompanying parking lots, lighting and sidewalks now occupy those 10 acres, the first phase of what may one day be a campus more than 10 times that size.

The next step for OSU is to develop a 46-acre former pumice mine adjacent to the new construction. The university in January agreed to pay $7.9 million for the property. The combined, 56-acre site will accommodate the university goal of a Bend campus that serves 3,000 to 5,000 students by 2025, according to OSU.

The third phase, expanding the campus onto a 76-acre former landfill adjacent to the new campus, hinges on a study of the potential to remediate that property. That study, undertaken with Deschutes County, is due for completion in November. Maul Foster Alongi, a Vancouver, Washington, firm with expertise in brownfield planning and remediation, is doing the analysis. If the landfill can be reclaimed, OSU expects to build additional housing to accommodate 40 percent or more of its full-time students in Bend. A deciding factor will be the cost involved in improving the site, said Christine Coffin, OSU-Cascades spokeswoman.

So far, no detailed plan showing building footprints or other improvements exists beyond the developed site, she said.

“All of this requires a long-range development plan that will have lots of elements to that plan, not just the physical design of the campus,” Coffin said. “And there’s a long process to develop that. Ultimately our goal for delivery of that is next February, next winter sometime.”

OSU-Cascades in May selected two firms to create its long-term plan: Page Southerland Page, a multidisciplinary engineering and architectural firm with an office in San Francisco, and SERA Architects, of Portland. The Page firm has undertaken numerous projects for universities across the country, from Brown University in Rhode Island to the University of California, San Francisco. It’s also worked on university projects in Kuwait and Mexico, according to its website. A spokesman for the firm referred questions about the OSU-Cascades campus to Coffin.

SERA Architects has designed buildings for the state of Oregon, OSU and hotel firms such as Residence Inn. Both firms are working with advisory groups to come up with a long-range plan, Coffin said.

“The campus design team is working internally with faculty and staff groups and with community members to gather input on a variety of things,” she said. “Up until now, it’s been a fairly conceptual basis.”

The SERA-Page design team emphasizes sustainability in further campus development, including adherence to the Living Building Challenge. The challenge calls for, among other things, net-zero energy use, in which all of the energy required for a structure is created onsite from renewable sources. The long-range plan also envisions the Cascades campus as a model for sustainable practices, including use of local, natural vegetation in landscaping and use of Oregon wood products in building. A sustainability advisory committee is part of the long-range planning effort.

Interested community members may hear updates on the long-range plan at public meetings scheduled for Oct. 18, Dec. 6 and Feb. 21. The October and December meetings take place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the OSU Graduate and Research Center, 650 SW Columbia St., Bend. The February meeting location will be announced later. The design team since May has gathered further input on transportation and housing from community meetings. Also, four advisory groups previously worked on different aspects of the campus design: arts, culture and enrichment; community integration; health and wellness; and sustainability.

The first-phase, 10-acre campus is built to accommodate approximately 1,900 faculty, staff and students. So far, the campus consists of three buildings. The first to go up, Tykeson Hall, is named for the Tykeson family, whose foundation helped launched the campus capital campaign fund with a $1 million gift in 2012. The Tykesons founded BendBroadband, the Bend-based cable TV and internet provider. The 44,000-square-foot, three-story building that bears their name will house classrooms, laboratories and offices.

The main classroom and administration building will be open for business this month. The 27,000-square-foot dining hall, with seating for more than 250, along with the 86,000-square-foot dormitory, with 300 beds, are scheduled to open in January. Students in the interim may live and dine at Central Oregon Community College. All told, first-phase construction comes to about 170,000 square feet.

“We’re working to ensure students have access to resources and amenities they need to be successful during the 10-week fall term,” Coffin said, “when construction on the dining and residence halls will be wrapping up.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815,