Meanwhile, a nearby 11-acre property on Simpson Avenue owned by Bend Parks & Recreation District is in the master-planning phase and could provide additional recreation partnerships for the campus in the future.

Campus officials considered the City of Bend’s Juniper Ridge property north of the downtown area as a location site, but ruled it out because of the additional state investment required, lack of nearby amenities that a university campus would require, and the timeframe needed to create sewer, water and traffic infrastructure. 

The university will invest approximately half of its $24 million funding -- $16 million in general fund-backed bonds matched with an anticipated $4 million in philanthropic support and $4 million in campus supported bonds -- in the west Bend property transactions.  

The remaining funds will be used for site planning, improvements and construction.  

“These proposed real estate purchases are for the long term and represent the investment in university education that Central Oregonians have long sought for their region,” Johnson said.

“These purchases would not have been possible without the outpouring of philanthropic support from our community. It is an important catalyst for our expansion and we are grateful to our donors for the inspiration they have given to their community and the campus,” she added.  

Gov. John Kitzhaber included funding for the project in his capital construction budget for the 2013 to 2015 biennium.   With help from many state legislators, including the Central Oregon delegation – Sen. Tim Knopp, and Reps. Jason Conger, John Huffman, Mike McLane, and Gene Whisnant – the Legislature approved the funding in the closing days of this year's session.

“We are working closely with our partners at the city of Bend on a memorandum of understanding that will help outline the master planning process,” said Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning.  

“The first priority will be to provide the academic space needed for our undergraduate students, and to provide housing for our incoming freshman and sophomores.  We anticipate breaking ground in spring 2014,” Sparks said, adding that site planning documents will be submitted to the city in January.

Beginning in October, OSU-Cascades’ Campus Expansion Advisory Committee will assist the campus master planning process by providing feedback and advice to inform site planning. 

CEAC members, who have expertise on issues the campus will face as it expands, include community leaders and representatives from the City of Bend, Deschutes County and the Governor’s Regional Solutions Center.

Currently, OSU-Cascades’ administrative offices, undergraduate programs and faculty, are located in Cascades Hall on the COCC campus. 

Officials from both campuses are working together with local legislators to re-finance the bonding for Cascades Hall in an effort to enable OSU-Cascades to devote current lease payments to the four-year campus expansion, while enabling COCC to assume use of the building.

Meanwhile, graduate programs and faculty, and some administrative offices will remain at the Graduate & Research Center, located on Southwest Columbia Avenue.

Details on the parcels proposed for purchase:

1500 SW Chandler Avenue, Bend, OR 97702
Seller: Cascades Property Holdings, LLC
Acres: 10.44
Purchase Price: $4.98M
Price per Acre: $477,000
Closing Date: Anticipated closing on October 28, 2013
Description: 10.44-acre parcel of undeveloped wooded land comprised of one tax lot and situated southwest of downtown Bend. The property is zoned for Limited Commercial (CL) use and is generally level with an earthen mound present along the north and northwest property boundaries. The property has the availability of City water and sewer adequate for future development; gas, electric, telephone and cable serve the neighborhood. Site is in a visible location on major route leading to Mt. Bachelor and Cascades Lakes.

1707 SW Simpson Avenue and 1757 SW Simpson Avenue, Bend, OR 97702
Seller: 4-R Equipment, LLC
Acres: 46 acres
Purchase Price: $7.875M
Price per Acre: $177,000
Closing Date: Anticipated closing in March 2014
Description: The property is a 46.29-acre parcel comprised of four tax lots and situated southwest of downtown Bend. The property is zoned for Surface Mining (SM) and Residential use (RM). The property is currently used for pumice mining and is fully excavated. The property is a fully served site for water, storm sewer, natural gas, electric, telephone

About OSU-Cascades: Located in Bend, Ore., Oregon State University’s branch campus features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Eighteen undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, exercise and sport science, hospitality management, and tourism and outdoor leadership. The branch campus plans to expand to a four-year university beginning fall 2015.

For more information: http://www.osucascades.edu/4