Central Oregon is the second fastest growing region in the state and the largest area without a four-year university. It is a gap we must close—and now we have the chance with the OSU-Cascades site on Bend’s Westside.
We’ve already waited 30 years for this university, and developing it at Juniper Ridge or east of Bend will take 10 more. We cannot allow another generation to pass before realizing the educational, economic and cultural benefits this school promises for our entire region.
Locating the campus at the proposed Westside site means:
- Our high school-aged children can stay here now to get a four-year degree offering students who can’t afford to leave the chance to improve their future
- Our economy benefits now from a smarter stronger workforce and the higher ed infrastructure that recruits new industry
- Our community will be enriched by cultural and artistic opportunities now
- Our transportation and affordable housing challenges will be tackled more quickly as the needs of the college become a top priority
The Westside is the best answer.
My Why Now
“One of my favorite things about OSU-Cascades is getting students into the field. They are better engaged, retain more information, and feel accomplished when we are done. These two OSU-Cascades students are examining a soil profile near Monticello, Arkansas, during the 2015 Collegiate Soils Competition. We encountered ancient marine deposits, abandoned channels of the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers, and experienced a culture and community that we would never known existed, because it is not described in a book that any of us would likely read. And that is something I feel OSU-Cascades brings to Bend – a chance to discover.”
I simply can’t understand how anyone would not support OSU Cascades on the Westside now. It’s time. Past time. OSU Cascades is a critical component to the quality of life and growth of our community. Let’s get it going.
OSU-Cascades will bring living wage jobs, economic diversity, cultural diversity and programs, and attract new business to the area. This is exactly the type of growth that the Central Oregon Community needs and an opportunity we cannot afford to pass up. It well help end the boom/bust cycles and “poverty with a view” perception our community has faced.
Expanding the foot print of OSU-Cascades now, rather than years from now, is vital to both the economic and intellectural health of this community. Yes it involves compromises, but that is the fabric of and the covenant between members of any society.
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.
We need a four year university in Bend and Juniper Ridge is an awful place to put one.
Its interesting watching the conversation regarding what OSU Cascades should be and where it should be located. Should it be a world class urban campus location attractive to students in the heart of Bend or should it be an isolated commuter campus located out in the sage brush east or north of town? If certain folks don’t want it on the west side, what do they think will be located on the site otherwise? Its time to stop the discussion and move forward. I support the Westside Campus location for OSU Cascades.
Access to higher education is one of the most important elements that will help our community thrive and be a great place for our children and grandchildren to raise their families. As a family we support OSU Cascades including the site selection on the west side and their pursuit to provide educational, cultural and economic opportunities in our community.
It is my hope that the Westside location will improve the quality of life and health of our populace by actually reducing our dependence on the automobile. With increased urban density and proper planning many more will come to realize how liberating it is not to be tied to their car.
I support the OSU Cascades campus because I believe this is the 50 year economic event Bend has waited for and needed. That fact that a few late comers to this discussion are taking exception indicates more their preference to close the door behind their move to Bend than a community spirit that built the place they moved to. I moved here when we were a mill town and am proud of what we have collectively accomplished. I do not want a few naysayers to win the day!
As a teacher in Bend for the last 9 years, I can’t understate the importance of education all the way through college. Bend has everything else; breweries, great schools, wonderful communities, a nearby ski resort, and people who care about the future of this city. It’s time to have a full college as well.
OSU-Cascades will provide many benefits to our community:
Developing programs linked to Bend’s emerging industries, including technology, medical research, outdoor apparel and products, and sustainable resource systems.
Creating economic opportunities for local high schools graduates who choose to earn a college degree while staying in Bend.
Stimulating the development of new affordable housing and more comprehensive public transit.
I have practiced law in Bend for 42 years. I served as your State Senator for eight years and as the lobbyist for the State Board of Higher Education /Chancellor’s office for six years. I mention this because it has been a struggle to have the state approve and fund a new campus. If our community does not succeed now it will be 5,10 or 20 years before the state would support a new college in Central Oregon. We cannot take that chance.
I support OSU Cascades because of their excellent engineering programs. Our economy will thrive if we can supply quality engineers to local tech start-ups locally. We want high quality good paying jobs. We want to attract companies to Bend. We need a bigger University presence here now.
As a long time Bend educator, I support the OSU Westside campus. It will bring choice, opportunity, and growth to Central Oregon. Having a college campus here will give our high school graduates a viable alternative choice to leaving the area to receive a four year degree. It will provide opportunity for older students to keep their jobs and stay in their homes while attending a world renown university. It will also bring stable economic growth now and in the future.
In reviewing the Coalition List, it’s no coincidence that the majority of the organizations and people who made Bend the city it is today are backers of the west-side location. It’s also refreshing to see that they are willing to publically publish their names in supporting the site. These organizations and people know that 1) the west-side location is the ONLY location that works and 2) that the citizens and city of Bend will solve whatever problems arise as a result of the location. We have before.
If we do not build a campus on the selected Westside parcel; then where? There is no perfect site. This site allows for in-fill development inside the Urban Growth Boundary.
Waiting to expand our UGB or determine way to finance infrastructure at Juniper Ridge or on Steven’s Road could set the campus construction back many years or potentially lose it altogether.
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.
My vision for Bend is a stellar quality of life, diverse 21st century economy, stewardship of our natural environment, and opportunities for our young people to thrive right here in the region. With its location close to COCC, new business start-ups, commerce, culture and recreation, OSU-Cascades’ Westside campus is spectacularly well located to serve all the above goals. And it promises to lead a new generation of “green” campuses that really walk the talk.
Board Advisor, Bend 2030
I support the OSU Cascades location Westside location and I strongly believe now is the time to move forward. The research has been done. It has proved that this location is the best location for the campus to grow and thrive. I’ve watched Bend grow since the 70’s and I truly believe that a 4 year university will only make our community better.
I graduated with my Associates degree from COCC in 1998; it was as far as I could go without leaving Central Oregon. Last fall, I stepped down as mayor of Madras to enroll (at age 41) at OSU Cascades in business administration. I will be the first person in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree. I’m thankful to many who are persevering to make the new westside campus a reality.
We have lived in Bend since 1969 and loved every minute of it. We have seen lots of change but the most positive is having a University here now in OSU Cascades. It is the best thing we have seen for Central Oregon and Bend. We support OSU Cascades and it’s westside campus location 100%!
OSU-Cascades on the West side is a wonderful plan. I work in education in Central Oregon and this is so needed for our kids and adults. The site is beautiful and a campus there will attract high quality students and faculty, as well as enhance our local culture immensely. The location will encourage green transportation such as biking and walking. The delays that have already been caused are such a disservice to our students and community and are an embarrassment to all of us. Anyone who has lived in a college town understands the benefits. Go OSU-Cascades on the West Side!
As a native Oregonion, I have traveled to Bend and Central Oregon all of my life. I moved to Bend in 2009 because I wanted to have a different life style. However, a former political activist and lobbyist, I have been aware for 30 years how badly this community needs a four-year college. OSU would provide degrees as well as a source of new jobs. I believe it would also help to keep the best and brightest of our young in the community. A local university would also help to lessen the debt accrued by most students today.
I am excited that the new OSU campus will be on the Westside. The location will help make the college a real part of the community for the benefit of Bend’s citizens as well as the students. It will also catalyze improved urban and transportation planning that wouldn’t happen if a Walmart or even an office building was built on the site. Can’t wait til I can ride my bike or even walk to the new campus.
The addition of the new and expanded OSU/Cascades campus on the west side of Bend is essential for enhancing Central Oregon’s economic future and will be a welcome boost to our quality of life. Higher education is one of the best investments any community can make.
The OSU westside site is an ideal location for the school. We have strong interest in the technology community in Bend, we already have OSU Grad Center, and the COCC campus on the west side. The people attending OSU will be able to enjoy what we also enjoy by living on the westside of town.
There has been more impact on traffic from the new houses being built, the new subdivisions, and the new U-12 schools supporting them, than ever will come from an OSU west side campus.
We all should be welcoming the state and the schools continued support of our community, and the sooner we can get the new campus going the better for our grandkids.
For Bend to be a complete cultural center, we must have a complete educational framework. OSU will provide the feature piece.
I support OSU-Cascades at the west side location because I look forward to the diversity that a higher ed school can bring to a community – and this part of Bend in particular. I also believe there’s a critical skills gap in Central Oregon and the U.S. at large – which has people stagnant in old employment paradigms in outdated professions. The future is in new technologies and sciences. This higher education is essential for our region to grow real, living wage jobs and thriving businesses that are not overly dependent on tourist dollars and second home retirees.
I support OSU-Cascades at the west side location because it will add a vibrant, stable and exciting educational resource to Bend — a resource that not only will attract students, but will be a community center for the whole town, right in the heart of the city.
Bend and Central Oregon deserve a four-year institution which excels in areas such as science and engineering. There are many challenges facing us here, and a high caliber university such as Oregon State will bring the necessary educational opportunities to this region.
As a member of the OSU-Cascades Advisory Board, I’ve been able to see up close the university’s thoughtful attention to, and broad community involvement in, the planning for what will be a full four-year campus that will bring a rich spectrum of benefits to all of central Oregon.
The location of a four-year university at the selected site will enhance the economic vitality, provide crucial educational opportunities and encourage the cultural growth of our city. A trained workforce is essential to attract young start-up companies and cultivate our numerous emerging industries throughout the region.
And this is the perfect time to make it happen, delaying the process only harms our potential for quality growth and the opportunity for Bend to develop its long-term economic potential.
The critics of the OSU-Cascades site are small, but speak loudly with deep pockets to delay the process. It’s unproductive, a waste of funds and not in the best interest of the city as a whole.
Imagine a burgeoning active campus on the Westside of Bend that contributes to a healthy lifestyle and vigorous economy. I am looking forward to this impression in the very near future.
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.
As a Prineville resident it is vital that the progress made here by OSU and COCC continue. I’m concerned that the delays in funding and construction of the OSU Cascade campus in Bend may spill over into our community. The issue has been vetted and it is time to proceed. Now for Prineville is also an appropriate cause.
A four year university on Bend’s west side, coupled with our well established community college, will help create an educated work force that will strengthen Central Oregon’s efforts to compete for, attract and retain new employers. The list of meaningful benefits OSU-Cascades will bring to our community is lengthy, and the new campus can’t get here fast enough.
I Support OSU-Cascades on the Westside Now