State Legislature Approves Funding for OSU-Cascades on Final Day of Short Session
in the closing minutes of the 2018 short legislative session on Saturday, the Oregon House and Senate approved a budget which included $39 million in bonds for OSU-Cascades.
The bonds will be instrumental in moving forward with a second academic building on the Bend campus.
Retiring Representative Gene Whisnant from Sunriver officially presented the measure in the House as his last act in the legislature.
Governor Kate Brown says she will sign it into law.
Here is a statement released by OSU-Cascades officials on Sunday afternoon:
“Oregon State University’s campus in Bend is a step closer to meeting the needs of its growing student enrollment following the Oregon Legislature on Saturday approving $39 million in state-backed bonds for OSU-Cascades’ second academic building.
The facility will serve STEAM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
“We are very grateful for the support of Governor Brown, Speaker Kotek, Senator Knopp, Representative Rayfield and many legislators for the continued expansion of higher education programming in Central Oregon,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “We are also grateful to the many generous donors whose gifts of over $9 million helped match this state funding.”
“Funding for this academic building will allow us to serve our mission in Oregon, and especially in Central Oregon, where there are no other four-year university options closer than three hours,” said Ray.
The legislature approved $9.5 million in state bonding in the 2017 session in part to support site preparation of undeveloped campus property where the new academic building will be constructed.
At the time, OSU officials pledged to seek additional state funding for the building in the 2018 legislative session. Over the past months, Central Oregon community, business and economic leaders, advocates with the Beaver Caucus, and undergraduate students traveled to Salem to support funding for increasing campus capacity in what is the fastest growing region in Oregon.
“We anticipate construction to begin in summer 2019, following remediation of portions of the pumice mine and landfill that adjoin our campus,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “This new academic building will house classrooms and laboratories and be ready for students in fall 2021.””