The Oregon State University Board of Trustees Friday authorized OSU President Ed Ray to complete negotiations with Deschutes County to purchase 72 acres of land that will expand the footprint of the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend.
The land is a Deschutes County landfill and is located adjacent to the university campus. The landfill site, when combined with the current 10-acre campus and an adjacent 46-acre site owned by OSU will create a 128-acre campus. The 46-acre parcel was a former pumice mine.
OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson told OSU trustees that acquiring the landfill will enable students to learn “in a natural living laboratory” in subjects such as natural resources and energy systems engineering. She said reclaimed and remediated soil from the landfill will be used to help fill the adjoining pumice mine that OSU purchased to expand the OSU-Cascades’ campus. She said utilizing remediated landfill material will eliminate an estimated 30,000 truckloads of material from being transported on local streets to fill the pumice mine.
“The landfill will enable public-private research and partnerships between OSU-Cascades and industry to occur within a planned innovation district that ECONorthwest estimates at buildout will produce $282 million annually in economic impact,” Johnson said.
“Acquiring the landfill will enable us to have expanded partnerships with local schools, provide sports and recreational fields on campus, offer surface parking versus building a more expensive parking garage, and accommodate student- and faculty-related uses, such as workforce housing and retail service amenities.
“This will benefit Central Oregon, the community, the economy and students thanks to the collaboration of Deschutes County commissioners and staff.”
The 128-acre campus will allow OSU-Cascades to grow to an enrollment of 3,000 to 5,000 students.
Trustee Kirk Schueler of Bend said: “If OSU does not buy this land, someone else will, and they will develop it. I am very excited about what it will mean for our campus. It will put OSU-Cascades on the forefront of what is happening in all of Oregon.”