Now for a Better Future for Kids
“I want to know my kids can build a future here.”
My Why Now
As a supporter of small businesses and a thriving community, I wholeheartedly back a four-year university in Bend. Healthy businesses need a talented workforce to draw from and growing our own is one of the key factors in their success. The location of the new campus is also the perfect place to have our students, close to COCC and close to the downtown area where they can easily commute by walking and biking to the jobs they will have as they continue their education. For our children, for our community, for our future economy, now is the time to make this happen.
I support the Westside location for the OSU-Cascades campus. The continued growth of Bend is inevitable; we have an opportunity to create positive growth with the addition of the University campus. As a lifelong resident and parent of a young child, I believe we have an opportunity right now to build our community well. A four year University will bring quality education, added diversity, skilled workers and increased economic growth for our community. In addition, we have the ability to decide how the proposed land will be developed. If not a four-year University, that adds value to our community, what? A large store? Multi-use apartment housing? I can’t stress enough that a University, on the Westside, adds quality to our beloved community.
Bend needs to be more than just a tourist based economy. Bringing OSU Cascades to Bend allows that to happen, giving our current k-12 pool of talent access to a quality higher education, while staying close to home.
OSU Cascades will create and expand affordable education options for Central Oregon. As the mother of two college students and two high schoolers, my husband and I are immersed in evaluating options. The collaborative, dynamic, and socially expansive environment of a four year university is unmatched.
OSU-Cascades will bring new opportunities for our community and the kind of growth that will bring jobs, diversity, cultural programs and higher education to more people.
I support the campus expansion on the west side because it will enrich our lives and provide leadership on how to responsibly use urban land which will be developed at some point. As a parent, I value the fact that not only will area kids will have access to cultural events and affordable, high-quality education right at home, but also to a community oriented and sustainably developed campus that will provide a legacy of smart growth.
I am a mom to 14-year old twins, a dog owner, a lender, a wife to a local business owner, and a 12-year resident of Bend. My family lives within a three minute drive of the proposed OSU Cascades Campus. Just as we enjoy our proximity to trails, the river, mountains and lakes, downtown, work and school, I am excited to live close to what will be OSU’s vibrant educational community. The University will offer enrichment opportunities not just for students, but for all residents of Central Oregon. The location is just a bike ride from eateries and amenities, and thus students will live, work, play and study in town, becoming a part of the fabric of our community. Students and faculty won’t be shelved away on some northeast parcel so that they will need cars to get to the places they will frequent.
Our thriving entrepreneurial town requires the talented and educated workforce that OSU Cascades will provide. And, with the increasing costs of higher education, OSU Cascades will provide a four-year alternative for local students who may wish to live at home while attending college. While there is no perfect location in Bend, OSU Cascades was approved in this location with plans for the increased traffic, housing and parking required by the college. No one can afford five to ten more years of going back to the drawing board, as we need OSU Cascades and all that it will contribute to Central Oregon, right now.
I was asked “Why Now for OSU Cascades?” today. I am a mother of three and a business owner here in Bend. I can’t think of anything more important than having a culturally diverse university up and running sooner than later for our community and for our students. By putting OSU Cascades at the Westside location, our community would be affording our students access to a more reasonable higher education, giving them an option to stay in town. And, the Westside location is more affordable to develop in terms of site readiness and infrastructure allowing the university to be up and running versus other sites that could take 7 to 15 years to get started. Now is the time for OSU Cascades.
A 4-year University on the Westside of Bend opens up the doors to a diverse, dynamic population and enriching activities for the entire Central Oregon Community. I’ve lived here 22 years and am more excited about the economic, environmental, and cultural health now than ever. The OSU expansion to a 4 year program is central to so much that is exciting about tomorrow. Education is a great investment for our children and their children. Let us not hesitate!
As a middle/high school teacher and father, I am excited for the breadth of opportunities that a 4 year university will provide for both my students and my own sons. And, as a Bend “west sider” (who lives a few blocks from the proposed site) I welcome the cultural enrichment that the OSU campus will bring into my neighborhood and the economic growth that it will bring to our community as a whole.
I am excited about the OSU Cascades Westside location as an integrated part of my Central Oregon community. Having a university central to the heart of Bend will make higher education, and all that comes with it, available to more individuals. As the parent of a middle-schooler, the prospect of sending him to college is very present to me. I want to know my kids will have a viable option to pursue their studies here locally if they choose. I fear that if we do not commit now and work through the unavoidable (regardless of location) assimilation hurdles, this opportunity will be lost not just for my family but another generation of kids.
I live on the west side near where the new campus will be, and I’m excited about the vibrancy the students will bring to our community. As a member of Bend 2030, Looking Forward, the Bend Chamber and City Club, I believe the university will be a great catalyst for us to purposefully design new housing and transit options as we grow. And as a mom, I know my daughter will benefit even before she hits college age with the increased diversity and expanded education options.
For me it’s mostly about my girls. I want their lives filled with the cultural and educational opportunities the university will bring. But more than that, I want Bend out of the boom/bust economic cycle. I want more of our region’s kids to have access to college degrees. I want more focus on public transit and the kind of housing students can afford. And I want these things for our region now, not 10 years from now.
I Support OSU-Cascades on the Westside Now