OSU-Cascades releases new campus renderings

Some residents worry Westside traffic crunch will get worse

BEND, Ore. - OSU-Cascades has released the first round of renderings of what the new four-year campus could look like.

At a public meeting Thursday night, the university showed off the the layout of the first phase of the campus and how the buildings may look.

Designers say they want the buildings to represent Central Oregon and would like to use materials from around the region. They suggested using juniper for some of the woodwork.

"We are going to be bringing some beautiful architecture to Bend. some very permeable buildings for our community to enjoy, as well as our faculty staff and students," said Associate Vice President for Finance & Strategic Planning Kelly Sparks.

The first part of the project will be to develop a 10-acre parcel of property near Century Drive and Chandler Avenue.

The layout of the campus shows an academic building on the west side of the property, in the center a dining hall and academic building, then two residence halls on the east side of the parcel.

"These are preliminary designs for the 10-acre site we will take the community feed back and make modifications to them," Sparks said.

Future projects on the initial 10 acres include a Innovation Center, which will be used to bring industry and academics together. A buildings to house the Bend Science Station also has been suggested as a future project.

The campus is laid out in a way to be more pedestrian-friendly. Buildings would range in height from 25 to 55 feet tall.

A concern some at the open house voiced was how much added traffic would come with the new university. There also was worry that the current infrastructure couldn't handle more traffic.

One man said several times a day, traffic near the proposed site nearly comes to a standstill, especially before classes at nearby schools begin and after they let out, and he can only imagine what it would be like with the added traffic.

Another woman said the area is dangerous for pedestrians now, with a lack of sidewalks and curbs. She added that there are a lot of close calls in the area as it is.

"There is a lot of really good quality feedback from the community," Sparks said. "We will go through that thoughtfully, before I say which modifications will be necessary to the site."

A second open house will be held Friday at noon at Cascades Hall on the COCC Campus. The university is hoping to have a final land use application completed and sent to the city by mid-March.

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